First Responders 13

Ronald Dale Johnston

November 4, 1936 ~ July 19, 2022 (age 85)

Obituary

On Tuesday, July 19, 2022, Ronald (Ronnie) Dale Johnston, 85, passed away peacefully in Lewistown, MT, after a three-year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Ronnie was born in Winter Haven, Fl, to Vera (neé Dull) and Excell Johnston, who raised him and his brother in Frostproof, FL. He received his B.S. degree in Horticulture from the University of Florida in 1958 and began a career working in the citrus industry. He married Judy Clair Milton of Frostproof in 1960, and together they raised three children in Ft. Pierce, Lake Hamilton, Winter Haven and Frostproof.

Ronnie founded and ran Johnston Irrigation, Inc. from 1972 through 1994. He was a pioneer in the development and introduction of micro irrigation sprinkler systems to the citrus industry in Florida and his company eventually became one of the largest in the industry. Ronnie’s expertise in the field was well known and his ability to design systems that were efficient and cost-effective enabled material reductions in water and energy use for his customers. 

Ronnie was an avid golfer, and enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially in Wyoming and Montana. He was also a voracious reader and had an uncanny ability to retain knowledge. He loved his family, and especially spending time with his grandchildren. He moved back and forth between Florida and Montana starting in the early 2000’s and was a valued member of the Painted Rocks Volunteer Fire Department near Darby, Montana.

Ronnie is survived by his three children; Elizabeth, Matthew, and Juliana; grandchildren, Julian, Jacob, Chardé, and Sheigen; brother David, brother-in-law Al, several cousins, nieces and nephews; and numerous friends.

A celebration of Ronnie’s life will be held by the family in November, in Montana. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Ronnie’s name to the Painted Rocks Volunteer Fire department located at 9564 W Fork Rd, Darby, MT 59829

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