Special ed teacher was dedicated family man
Raymond Johnston's life melded his deep devotion to his family with an innate ability to educate, his family said.
He taught for 32 years in Greensburg Salem School District as a special education teacher, math specialist and elementary teacher, but his time outside of the classroom was focused on family.
“He spent all his time trying to make us comfortable and happy,” said his wife, Lynn Bertoluzzi Johnston. “He loved us dearly.”
Raymond L. Johnston, 66, of Greensburg, died on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, of complications from pneumonia in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg. He was born Dec. 29, 1946, in Latrobe, son of the late Dale and Ruth Johnston.
He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, then graduated from California State Teachers College with a master's degree in education.
“He was really born a teacher,” his wife said. “He had a way with kids, and he was very gentle and kind, and really cared about the children he taught. ... He was very patient, very kind. He didn't lose his temper very often. He sat in the evenings and helped our children with their homework, retaught a lot of the stuff just to make sure that they did well in school.”
Mr. Johnston worked hard to maintain and expand the family's home as the family grew, according to his wife.
“He really was a family man and a homebody,” she said. “All our time was spent at home with the family. He took care of the house and grounds, he cut wood and cut grass, he built things, he remodeled and put a second floor on our house.”
And he made sure his children's activities were always family affairs.
“Our son and daughter were competitive ice skaters, and we spent many years devoted to the sport and getting them to and from an ice rink,” Lynn Johnston remembered. “It was always as a family, it wasn't that I took the children and he was at home. The four of us went to the ice rink all the time. The four of us went wherever they went.
“I don't know of any people that didn't like him,” his wife said. “His doctors liked him, his colleagues liked him, his students liked him. Of course, all of our family loves him. He put people before himself. If anybody needed help, he was there to help them.”
In addition to his parents, Mr. Johnston was preceded in death by his brother, Richard “Dick” Johnston; and his father- and mother-in-law, Florist and Sophia Bertoluzzi. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Ross M. Johnston and wife, Toni Bartone, of Pittsburgh, and Rachael S. Johnston of Greensburg; a brother, James W. Johnston and his wife, Cathy, of Ligonier; sisters-in-law Karen Lagally and husband, Herm, of Greensburg, Pam Endsley and husband, Jerry, of Colorado, and Hollis Ulaky and husband, Jim, of North Carolina; and brothers-in-law Keith Bertoluzzi and wife, Mary Jean, of Portersville and Rick Bertoluzzi and wife, Joan, of Colorado.
Family and friends will be received from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday in the Kepple-Graft Funeral Home, 524 N. Main St., Greensburg. A service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in the funeral home with the Rev. David Clemente officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to one's favorite charity.
Greg Reinbold is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-459-6100, ext. 2913, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Firefighters rescue woman from burning home in Scott
- Pittsburgh police warn residents about phone scam
- WPIAL, coaches are still looking to schedule Week 9 rivalry games
- Previewing some of Western Pa.’s top Week 9 matchups
- High school football notebook: WPIAL might welcome another team next year
- Pennsylvania schools’ ‘hands tied’ on cyberbullying
- Steelers notebook: No-huddle gets limited use vs. Texans
- Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
- Man apprehended after jumping White House fence
- Penguins notebook: Team pays tribute to Ottawa shooting victims
- Pittsburgh Bottleshop in Bridgeville more than just a place for brews