Margaret Mary Johnston

We are here to commemorate our mother Margaret Mary Johnston whom the angels guided to Heaven on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017 in Billings.

The second daughter to Clement Michael and Edna (Buckland) Conroy, Margaret Mary joined sister Helen on May 19, 1925 in Judith Gap, Montana. She was to be followed by four brothers: Kenneth in 1927, Patrick in 1931, Thomas in 1934 and David in 1937.

Margaret was an avid horse lover, a trait she inherited from her father.

On July 3, 1941 she married Hugh DeWayne “D.J.” Johnston, and they lived east of Judith Gap on the Badger Ranch. First child Patricia Marwayne was born in March, 1942, at the St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings. That same year they moved to Long Beach, California, where D.J. and brother Graham were welders in the shipyards for the war effort. Margaret was kept busy as a carhop for McDonalds.

Brother Baxter Dewayne was born April, 1943, in Hollywood. D.J.’s sister Margaret was a professional dancer who entertained in night clubs and movie musicals.

Before the war’s end, the family returned to Montana, east of Judith Gap on the Abney Place. Margaret was a busy farm wife the following years, as her family grew with Clifton David, born May, 1945, Logan Michael, January, 1947, Kleiv Clement, November, 1948, and Susan Michelle in July, 1950; all born in Lewistown.

In 1951 the family moved north of Helena to a farm up the Prickly Pear Road to Canyon Creek. In July, 1952, Kathleen Ann was born in Helena.

In 1953 the family moved again to a small farm in Washington where the kids went to school at Springdale, three miles distant. They moved their entire belongings in a hay wagon pulled by an orange Allis Chalmers tractor with a top speed of 12 mph. It took three days to reach their destination. During the years in Washington, Kelley Marie was born in 1957, followed by Casey Lynn in 1951. In Washington the family enjoyed summers swimming in Loon lake and raising Shetland ponies.

In 1965 the family returned to Montana where Margaret was Post Master at Garneill, where they also operated a small store. In May, 1970, Clancy Margaret was born at the St. Vincent Hospital in Billings making a full circle. Margaret was advanced in 1970 to Post Master of Moore, where she worked until her retirement in 1990. She frequently slept on a cot at the Post Office during Montana blizzards when the Garneill road was closed.

In 2011 Margaret took residence at the Eagles Manor in Lewistown, until she moved to St. John’s Nursing Home in 2016 in Billings.

She is survived by brother Tom Conroy of Hardin; cousins Bonnie Herminghaus and Patty Erickson of Billings; daughters-in-law Yvonne Johnston of Belgrade and Karen Johnston of Hardin; nieces Sherron Hughes in Wisconsin and Sandra Stevens in Minnesota; daughters Patsy Johnston Bradley of Billings, Susan (Francy) Petty of San Diego, Kathleen (Dennis) Stanley of Lewistown, Kelley (Dave) Evans of Red Lodge, Casey (Scott) Brewington of Helena and Clancy (Scott) Tice of Portland, Oregon; sons Clifton (Stephanie) of Spokane, Washington, and Kleiv (Bernice) of Lewistown; 32 grandchildren, 38 great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death with D.J.’s passing in 1994; sons Baxter and Logan; son-in-law Richard Petty; sister Helen; and brothers Kenneth, Patrick and David.    

Funeral Mass for Margaret Mary Johnston will be Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017 at 11 a.m. in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Judith Gap, with committal to follow in the Judith Gap Cemetery. A rosary will be Friday, Nov. 24, 2017 at 7 p.m. in Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. The Perkins Funeral Home is assisting the family.

     Friends are asked to make memorials to the Judith Gap Endowment or the charity of their choice, and they may be left with the Perkins Funeral Home, PO Box 313 Harlowton, MT  59036 or posted on-line at



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