Share This Obituary

Dr. Russell James Johnston was born in Gary, Indiana on October 2 1938. He died in Nacogdoches, TX on Thursday, August 3 rd, 2017 at 78 years old. A visitation will be held on Monday, August 7th from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. He will be laid to rest at Sunset Memorial Park by his family.

Russell graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 1959. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Indiana School of Medicine in 1963. He interned at Brooke General Hospital in San Antonio in 1964 and completed his Internal Medicine residency in 1969 from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

Russell enlisted in the United States Army in 1963 and served as Captain in the Vietnam War from 1964 to 1965. He was awarded the Bronze Star for Valor during ground combat in Vietnam.

After his tour of duty, he met and married Cheryl Arlene Collins. They had four children. In 1969, he relocated his family to Nacogdoches, TX. He was one of the founding physicians for Nacogdoches Medical Center, which opened in 1975. He was Chief of Staff in 1981 and was member of the governing board and multiple committees from 1975-2006.

When Russell had free time in his early years you might have found him reading or learning something new. He devoted his life to caring for others and there was always something intriguing to learn. He also enjoyed golfing and watching the "Cowboys" play football. He loved being a Texan in his heart and he loved Nacogdoches. Russell loved to eat and bought a kitchen full of cookbooks to keep Cheryl and he busy. He loved Greek and German cuisine and especially homemade enchiladas. He was good at growing roses and experimental roses and enjoyed sitting in the yard enjoying simple beauty and listening to frogs and cicadas. He loved the color blue.

Russell is preceded in death by parents, William Elmer Johnston and Helen Rachel Street Johnston; brother, W.E. Johnston, II.

He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Cheryl Arlene Johnston; four children, Patricia Johnston, Katherine Collins and husband John, Janel Quakenbush and husband Mark, Stephen Johnston and wife Anne; nine grandchildren, Nicholas Johnston, Hannah Collins, Harrison Collins, Lauren Quakenbush, Justin Quakenbush, Kate Quakenbush, Natalie Johnston, Andy Johnston, Wesley Johnston and great grandson, Silas Johnston; sister, Janet Stutsman; also numerous nieces and nephews

The family wishes to express special thanks to his caregiver, Dr. Randal Vinther ,Dr. Gerard J. Ventura, Dr. Donald E. Cagle, and Dr. T. Lynn Warthan. Also, special thanks to Stephanie and Angie from Lifecare Hospice.

Memorial contributions to honor Dr. Johnston may be made to a charity of your choice.