School 17
Official Obituary of

Paul L. Johnston

December 17, 1950 ~ July 14, 2023 (age 72) 72 Years Old

Paul Johnston Obituary

Paul L. Johnston, 72, of Big Long Lake, passed away Friday, July 14, 2023 at Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne.

He was born on December 17, 1950 in Cincinnati, Ohio to the late Clement and Christine (Bishop) Johnston.

On June 12, 1976 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Garrett, he married Janet Haffner.

Mr. Johnston was a dedicated educator and administrator. Educating and influencing many children over his career. Paul taught at Garrett High School from 1978 to 1988, then moving to Bishop Luers High School as assistant principal and principal from 1988 to 1992. Following his time at Bishop Luers, Paul was then an assistant principal at Lakeland Schools from 1992 to 2000. Paul then went on to retire from Westview Jr/Sr High in 2012. Retirement could not stop Paul’s passion for education, he was often found volunteering and substitute teaching for numerous other schools.

Paul was an active member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and The Knights of Columbus in Kendallville. He was also a volunteer for the Food and Clothes Basket of LaGrange and was a board member of Habitat for Humanity and LaGrange County Community Foundation. 

He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends at the lake, woodworking and re-caning chairs.

Paul leaves behind his loving wife of 47 years, Janet; children, Patrick (Julie) Johnston and Mandy (Scott) Bailey; grandchildren, Michael (Leanne) Johnston, Bianca Johnston, Addalyn Bailey and Landon Bailey; step grandchildren, Darren, Ryan and Casie Shoemake; siblings, Vicki (Marcus) Wilkins, Patti (Gary) Noll, Steve (Nancy) Johnston, Juli (Chris) Kroth, Cheryl (Greg) Walthers and Kim (Mike) Lance.

He was also preceded in death by his parents, Clement and Christine Johnston; a sister, Mary Gabriel

Mass of Christian Burial will be Friday, July 21, 2023 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 300 West Houston Street, Garrett. Calling will also be Thursday, July 20, 2023  from 2-7 p.m. at Thomas Funeral Home, 1277 Country Road 56, Garrett.

Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery – Avilla, IN

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials may be directed to Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, the Food and Clothes Basket of LaGrange, Common Grace Food Pantry of Kendallville or for Mass Intentions in Paul’s name.

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July 20, 2023

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Thomas Funeral Home
1277 C.R. 56
Garrett, IN 46738

Mass of Christian Burial
July 21, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church (West Houston Street)



Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana

Food and Clothes Basket of LaGrange

Common Grace Food Pantry of Kendallville
Kendallville IN 46755


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