Alan Henry Johnstone; poet, marathon runner, teacher, father, husband, friend; died on Sunday afternoon at McCall Hospice House after a lengthy, albeit courageous battle with Huntington’s Disease. He would’ve celebrated his 62nd birthday on September 29, 2014.
Born in Greenville, SC to Thomas Kennerly Johnstone Jr. & Minnie Greene Moore, Alan attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor’s in Social Studies with a focus on High School Education. He also served four years in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas as a Private First Class for the United States Army. He was also an incredibly active member of the Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for 24 years.
Alan taught high school history and coached the debate team for more than twenty years, spending the majority of his teaching career at Woodmont High school in Piedmont, SC. Known as ‘Johnny’ by his students, at any given moment he could be seen with chalk dust on his pants or stirring his coffee with a ball-point pen. It goes without saying, then, that Alan was known and loved by his students, friends and family for his goofy sense of humor.
Alan’s family would like to take this time to especially thank Open Arms Hospice and McCall Hospice House for their gentle care, compassion and love during Alan’s final months. And a special thanks to all of Alan’s friends, former students and colleagues for continuing to share wonderful memories of Alan’s contagious laughter, social activism and frantic chalkboard note-taking in the classroom. Not only did you enrich Alan’s life but you continue to enrich ours with your fond memories. Thank you.
Alan is predeceased by his parents and survived by his loving wife of ten years, Jane Ann McLean, son, Ethan Lee Johnstone and daughter, Anna Johnstone-Edwards, all of Greenville. Also surviving is his brother Thomas ‘Tam’ Kennerly Johnstone III of Reidsville, NC, sister, Anna ‘Nan’ Johnstone Straughn of Atlanta, GA and handsome cat, George.
A memorial service will be held at Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Saturday, August 16, 2014 at 2p.m. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The UU World of Children (1135 State Park Road, Greenville, SC, 29609) and United Ministries (606 Pendleton Street, Greenville, SC, 29601).