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Aug. 10-1937-Jan. 7, 2018

Joe Johnston, 80, passed away Jan. 7, 2018 in Deer Lodge, Montana.  Joe was born on Aug. 10, 1937 to Joseph and Elizabeth Johnston.  Joe grew up in the Deer Lodge Valley and raised at the Evan’s family ranch at Racetrack after his father’s death.

Upon graduation from Powell County High School, Joe attended Graceland College in Iowa and then graduated from his beloved University of Montana. He then went on to receive his master’s in Counseling from Western Montana College.  Joe and Judy were married the winter of 1960.

Joe spent 13 years teaching and coaching in Fromberg, Drummond and then Baker, Montana.  In Baker, a lifetime goal was achieved when his team won the 1970 State Class B Boys Basketball Championship, and he was named 1970 Class B Coach of the Year. 

In 1973, Joe moved back to Deer Lodge with his family to work on the family ranch.   There he spent the remainder of his years until retirement working alongside his uncle, Robert Evans and his son, Evan Johnston, raising Simmental cattle.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents and son-in-law, Paul Sliter (Elaine).  He is survived by his wife, Judy; children, Kari (Allan) Labbe, Janet (Ed) Janney, Evan (Dana) Johnston and Elaine (Mark) Taylor; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

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Memorials reflecting Joe’s life may be made to the following: Powell County Community Foundation – P.O. Box 834, Deer Lodge, Montana 59722; Big Brothers Big Sisters of Montana - 1520 S. Russell, Missoula, Montana 59801; or the Rialto Theater – P.O. Box 874, Deer Lodge, Montana 59722

Respecting Joe’s wishes, no services will be held.

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