May 24, 1961-September 23, 2022
Bernie was born in Didsbury on May 24 1961. He lived in the Didsbury/Westcott community his entire life. Bernie was the 7th child, the youngest of the family (4 boys and 3 girls). Bernie was raised in the original Didsbury hospital brick building along with his siblings. At the age 6, Bernie helped out his parents, Reg and Ruth Johnston, at the family-owned business “Johnstons Grill and Billiards” on Main Street. Bernie became a “professional potato peeler” (Which he accomplished while in the pool hall). In the following years he learned how to play pool and rarely missed an opportunity to play with the older gentlemen.
When he was 14, Bernie helped his family build a house and a greenhouse business (Tara Products) on the south west side of Didsbury. He took part in the operations, including planting many plants and conversing with all of the people coming and going.
At the age of 17, Bernie began working at Clem Kuelker’s welding shop in Didsbury, going on to apprenticeship and then began his career in welding. Over the years to follow he also worked at Niemeyer’s Welding then at Wild Rose Machining (This profession covered 40 years of his life).
Following this he began his first business under the name of “Bee Jay’s Welding” which later became “Riversbend Welding Ltd.” Throughout this period of time he was apprenticing young men, including nephews, and friends. (So many that we can not know the number of them). Three of these who apprenticed were his own children, Tom, Anna and Luke. This love of sharing his enthusiasm for the trade he practiced brought many others to this profession also; he was truly a remarkable man.
Bernie was married in 1985 and soon had four beautiful children – the love of his life. He worked hard to provide for his family, while building acreages from scratch.
Bernie loved loud music, including ALL music! He looked forward to being in the outdoors, fishing, camping, hunting and travelling with his wife, Stella, and with family and friends.
He also loved family history and was fascinated, and interested in the stories from the older generation. Interestingly he remembered ALL of those people and ALL of those stories.
On September 19, 2022 Bernie suffered a stroke/aneurysm which took his life 4 days later. Bernie was predeceased by his sister, Debbie (April 2006); his father, Reg Johnston (December 2008); and his mother, Ruth (November 2019).
Bernie is survived by his wife of 10 years, Stella; his children, Thomas, Anna-May, Jessica (Dalllas) Patten and Luke; as well as his stepdaughter, Amanda (David) Friesen. Bernie cherished his 7 beautiful grandchildren, Victoria and Logan Patten, Micalah and Danielle Johnston, as well as Maddox Johnston, Dante and Avayda-May. Bernie was a loving grandfather and Papa to his grandchildren, and was involved in any way, and at any time he could be with them.
Bernie is survived by his siblings, Peter (Marg) Johnston, Pat (Garth) Hollinger, Steve (Nancy) Johnston, Sandra (John) Reid and Dan (Vivian) Johnston. Also Aunts, Uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces too numerous to name.
Bernie had a sincere love for the Lord Jesus, so we rejoice that he is now abiding in the presence of Jesus. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at www.myalternatives.ca.