Ruth Helen Johnston

Published 1:55 pm Friday, June 21, 2019

Ruth Helen Johnston, 93, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 10, 2019, at Calder Woods Retirement Community in Beaumont. Ruth was born on May 29, 1926, in Lockport, Illinois, the daughter of Leroy and Bertie Johnston and baby sister to brothers Leroy and Norman. Ruth and family came to Texas when she was seven years old; she resided in Port Arthur until a move to Beaumont later in life.

Ruth graduated from Port Arthur’s Thomas Jefferson High School and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Women’s University, graduating with honors. After college, she spent many years as a teacher, beginning as a second-grade teacher at Groves Elementary and then moving to Groves Junior High School where she taught almost every subject – English, algebra, history, and music. After her career at the junior high school, she took her love of children and gift for teaching to the Beaumont Neurological Center, where she developed and led a school for children with special needs. She is remembered by many of her students as a very special teacher.

Ruth was always interested in learning something new and sharing that with others. She was a gifted pianist, and introduced many young people, including her nieces and nephew, to music as their piano teacher. She was an amazing seamstress, making many of her clothes in her young days and sewing for her nieces. She was adept at many crafts – embroidery, tatting, knitting, and ceramics. She was also a passionate dog lover and was known for bringing her beloved Basset Hound to work at Beaumont Neurological Center as a therapy dog.

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In her later years, Ruth traveled the world, taking in all the sights in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. She generously shared what she saw with her family, bringing home treasures to give as Christmas gifts. Photo albums are full of wonderful shots of cruises, tours, theater outings, and happy times with friends.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents; brothers; niece, Jeanne Ward; and great-nephew, Ted Michaelsen. She is survived by her nephew, Norman Johnston and wife, Janet, of Anna, Texas; niece, Janis Richardson and husband, Merle, of Hallettsville, Texas; nephew-in-law, Tom Ward of New Bern, North Carolina; lifelong friend, Juanell Jones of Beaumont; two great-nieces; five great-nephews; and nine great-great-nieces and nephews.

A memorial service for Ruth will be 11:00 a.m., Saturday, June 29, 2019, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 1350 North 23rd Street, Beaumont. There will be a reception in the church parlor following the service.

A Celebration of Life for friends and family to remember Ruth, will be 2:00 p.m., Saturday, June 29, 2019, at Buckner Calder Woods, 7080 Calder Avenue, Beaumont.   

A family committal was held at Broussard’s Crematorium under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont.

Ruth’s family offers special thanks to hospice nurse, Janet Guzman and the staff of Harbor Hospice of Beaumont for their compassionate care.

The family requests that memorials for Ruth be made to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 1350 North 23rd Street, Beaumont, Texas 77706; Easterseals, 141 West Jackson Boulevard, 1400A

Chicago, Illinois 60604; or any charity of choice.

Complete and updated information may be found at: