KEARNEY — Mae Johnston, 88, of Kearney died Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, at her home.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at First Lutheran Church with the Rev. Drs. Michelle Holley Carlson and Rick Carlson officiating. Inurnment will be in the church columbarium.

O’Brien Straatmann Redinger Funeral and Cremation Services is in charge of arrangements.


Mae was born March 10, 1931, in Holdrege to James and Edith (Carlson) Johnston. Mae was the youngest of seven children. She was raised in Holdrege and attended Little Giant, Urbom School in Phelps County and graduated from Holdrege High School.

On May 30, 1950, Mae was united in marriage Carl B. Johnston Jr. in Las Vegas. To this union six children were blessed.

The couple made their home in Kearney before moving to Bellevue where they owned and operated Johnston’s Steamway of Bellevue. They later moved to Omaha where Mae managed deFreese Manor. Following their retirement, Mae and Carl returned to Kearney.

Mae was a longtime member of the First Lutheran Church where she participated in the Women’s Trio and choir, coffee club and circles. At Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church in Omaha, she was a past president of WELCA and active in the circles. She was leader in Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts serving as a Den Mother for several years.

Mae enjoyed volunteering at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney. She loved traveling and visiting friends. Mae and her husband crossed the country by car many times over and traveled abroad.

Left to cherish her memory are her sons, Bernard (Sharon) Johnston of Bellevue, Carl (Kim) Johnston lll of Oviedo, Fla., Bill (Patricia) Johnston of Centennial, Colo., and John Johnston of Kearney; daughter, Sharon (Jim) West of Omaha; 13 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; as well as, many nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.

Mae was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Carl Johnston Jr.; daughter, Susan Counsell; and all her siblings.

Memorials are suggested to First Lutheran Church, Shared Campus Lutheran Ministry.

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