Mary Dorthy Neal Johnston 1925 – 2017

Mary Dorthy Neal Johnston, 91, passed away Feb. 11, 2017, at Pioneer Memorial Nursing Home in Mullen.

Mary Dorthy Neal was born on April 9, 1925, to John Luther (Louie) and Mary A. R. (Herncall) Neal of Mullen.

Dorthy married Frederick “Fred” Johnston on Sept. 10, 1942. Fred and Dorthy lived and worked for Fred’s dad on the North Loup River near Cascade, before leasing a ranch on Goose Creek in 1948. They lived there until they purchased the Jones Ranch south of Thedford in 1962.

They were blessed with three children, James F., Jack R. and Barbara A. Dorthy was her children’s biggest fan. She attended their many ball games, track meets and rodeos.

Life for Dorthy and her husband changed drastically in 1966 when Fred was injured in a rodeo accident. Dorthy became Fred’s faithful caregiver for the remaining 12 years of his life. Fred and Dorthy made their home in North Platte where Fred continued therapy.

In 1975, Dorthy was awarded the Eyes on Nebraska Award from the Nebraska Optometric Association for the courage and faith that had carried her through those years.

Dorthy was an active member of the DOES Broken Bow Lodge service organization, Nebraska Cattlewomen and the Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

After Fred’s death, Dorthy received her GED from Mid-Plains Community College. She had her own business selling Newton advertising specialties. She enjoyed traveling and meeting her customers. She also volunteered at the Lincoln County Historical Museum and the Jumble Shop. Dorthy was active in Beginning Experience, a faith-sharing group for Catholic singles. Faith and family were important focuses in Dorthy’s life.

Dorthy was preceded in death by her husband, Fred; brothers, Joseph, Francis, Alois and James; and sisters, Regina Brewer and Anna Crouse.

She is survived by Jim (Judy) Johnston, of Thedford; Jack (Gail) Johnston, of Thedford; Barbara (Allen) Boyer, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; grandchildren, James Chad (fiancé, Audra) Johnston, Jason (Jennifer) Johnston, Jeff (Kendra) Johnston, Joel (Bethany) Johnston, Jennifer (Keith) Norwood, David (Eva) Johnston, Will (Kim) Robinson, Bret Robinson, Matt Robinson, Katina Boyer, Jamee (James) Boyer and Cameron Sipowicz; and 24 great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Thomas Catholic DCCW, Hillcrest Cemetery or Pioneer Memorial Nursing Home. Memorials may be sent to Jack Johnston, PO Box 189, Thedford, NE 69166.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mullen. Dorthy will be laid to rest in Hillcrest Cemetery, Thedford. Rosary will be at 7 p.m. today, Feb. 14, at St. Thomas Catholic Church in Thedford. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. today, Feb. 14, at St. Thomas Catholic Church. Mullen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.