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William Johnston January 19, 1951 - July 30, 2019

William ‘Bill’ Johnston

William Michael Johnston, blessed the earth with his bigger than life presence on Friday, January, 19, 1951.  He is survived by his wife, Julie “Fluff” Johnston, daughter Amy (Bob) Kavcich, and was a proud grandpa known as Papa J to two cool grandkids, Parker and Gracie.  Bill was the second child born to William Gene and Anna Marie Johnston. He was brother, Billy, to Karen (Larry) Lumley, Debbie (Kelly, predeceased) Russ, Greg Johnston, Mark (Diane) Johnston, Tony (Karen) Johnston, and Beverly Armstrong, who is cracking jokes by his side in Heaven.  Aside from his immediate family, Billy is survived by a slew of nieces and nephews and a handful of friends near and far.

Bill was born in what was considered the last “civilized” spot during the Lewis and Clark Expedition – St. Charles, Missouri.  He was a connoisseur of fried pies, grilled meat, Bloody Mary’s, and an occasional glass of nice Scotch. He was a lover of wild birds and domestic cats, (specifically Fatso, Kiddus, and Gene).  Bill was a movie and history buff, enjoyed documentaries, and stand-up comedy. Sometimes thought of as having a tough guy appearance, Billy was a big kid at heart. He spent some of his retirement freedom as a gamer, playing late-night games online with Parker.  During the day he tinkered with electronics and gadgets and had a knack for being Julie’s very own modern day MacGyver, working on projects around the house. Even though he was too ‘old’ to trick-or-treat, he enjoyed passing out candy to the neighborhood kids, but with a catch; they had to tell him a joke first.  His other favorite time of year was the 4th of July, setting off literally tons of explosives with his son-in-law. Bill and Bob hosted a firework’s spectacular that became the neighborhood’s annual fireworks show.

Bill’s booming voice and contagious laugh was perfect for blanketing the airways as a radio d.j.  The original record spinner, “Bill Michaels” played his favorite genre of music – 70’s hits in the 1970’s.  One of the first d.j.s to play music at that time on the seemingly futuristic laser-disc (a.k.a. cd), he played rock and country in the 1980’s.  During the 1990’s, Bill did a stint as a talk radio host in St. Louis, Missouri.

A 1969 high school graduate of Hazelwood Central High School, Bill entered into St. Louis Community College – Florissant Valley, where his mom, Ann, enjoyed working in her later years and became a college graduate in May of 1990 at the young age of 62.  Bill, however, cut his college career short to serve our country.

One of Bill’s most important accomplishments was his time spent in the United States Armed Forces.  William Johnston was a brave veteran of the Vietnam War. He continued his full time career with the Air Force employed as a Communication Systems Radio Operations Supervisor and honorably retired after a total of 20 years.

Bill Johnston had a stubborn determination and bold spirit.  Although, he put up a good fight against cancer for a year and a half, Bill bravely and peacefully passed with guns-a-blazing on Tuesday, July 30th, 2019. Bill had a long standing joke that one day he would “take a ride on the jet stream”. His spirit can be forever admired in the constellation of Capricornus, officially recorded in the International Star Registry as Billy Space Boy Johnston, star number RA 20h 48m 19s D-20͒ 17’.  So, should you ever feel melancholy all you have to do is look to the moondust scattered across the night sky. Bill is among the twinkling stars, shining down with a wink and boisterous laugh.

Fly high Bill Johnston, may the angels forever sing of your spirit and the sun never set on your soul.

Services: Graveside service with Full Military Honors will be held on Friday, October 11th at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Road, St. Louis, MO 63125 at 1:00 p.m.  Please meet at the cemetery administration building.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Stray Rescue www.strayrescue.org appreciated.

Graveside service with Full Military Honors will be held on Friday, October 11th at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Road, St. Louis, MO 63125 at 1:00 p.m.  Please meet at the cemetery administration building.


  1. REPLY
    Roald Garrett says

    I have a memory Julie I don’t know if you were told or not but me and Bill took your Corvette out one day driving down Highway 30 Gravois and a red Ferrari pulled out on us an older four with two guys if I’m a stop light it was on WE raced at Ferrari and left it and I knew they were coming to get us I knew they’re going to catch us some pass us bad Corvette did 130-135 and had me pinned to the seat and they never caught us until we got to the stop light bill said don’t tell Julie I won’t be able to drive it anymore but we have fun together God bless you and your family

  2. REPLY
    Roald Garrett says

    Julie I am so apologetic for your loss you and Bill treated me like family I love being in your company my good friend will be missed prayers to you Julie and family

  3. REPLY
    Alex and Donna Schneider says

    Julie so sorry for your loss. We’re sending our love and thoughts.

  4. REPLY
    Mary Coffey says

    I’m so so sorry for your loss. Bill was such a wonderful man and always so kind and funny. He will be greatly missed. Thinking of you.

  5. REPLY
    Ellen Maxey says

    Gary and I send our love. So sorry for your loss.

  6. REPLY
    Vicki Hampel says

    Amy so sorry for your loss! You and your family is in my prayers. Love you even though your miles away.

  7. REPLY
    Lynne Reid says

    So very sorry for your loss Julie. I wish Joe could have met him. They were in the same graduating class at Hazelwood Central. Take care and be strong. God will help you through this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love you girlfriend.

  8. REPLY
    Tim O'Bryen and Shawn Coffey says

    Bill Johnston was our friend. He always made us feel safe. We had many,many laughs. Road trips,concerts (rock and roll of course),meals, scotch, ganja.he loved his Julie. He loved his daughter Amy. He never held back when I needed or someone,anyone needed to be told to “shut the f— up” he cracked us all up and he cracked himself up. Bill Johnston was a gentleman. He was a gentle, man. Julie and Amy and his brother and family took such incredible care of him. An ordinary man would not have survived two months. Bill did not want to leave us. Remember his laughter. His calmness and his incredible interest in everything. What a gift to have known him.

  9. REPLY
    Sonya says

    Julie, we are so very sorry. We love you dearly. Always, Mike and Sonya

    • REPLY
      Anonymous says

      Mark I am so sorry for you & your families loss. Love & prayers sent ypour way

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