Memorial Service March 29 for Roy Johnston

Post a Comment » Written on March 17th, 2008     
Filed under: News
PASADENA, CA (March 17, 2008) – Memorial services for Roy Johnston, 94, will be conducted at 11 a.m. March 29 at Pasadena Covenant Church.

Johnston died March 13. He was born January 7, 1914.

Johnston was a longtime active layperson in the Evangelical Covenant Church whose engineering expertise not only helped change the landscape of the Los Angeles area, but was in demand worldwide. Johnston gave freely of that knowledge in helping to design buildings for Pasadena Covenant and the denomination.

He also served more than 50 consecutive years on the Pasadena Covenant Church council, including 19 years as Sunday school superintendent, and was known for his encouragement of local and denominational leaders.

James Engwall, former associate superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference, recalls that Johnston set aside personal gain the day after the devastating 1989 earthquake that struck the San Francisco area in order to help the Mission Springs Christian Camp and Conference Center.

The camp was less than a mile from the epicenter and was immediately closed. Although his premier seismic structural engineering firm, Brandow & Johnston Inc., was flooded with phone calls from clients, Johnston immediately traveled with Engwall to inspect the condition of the camp.

“The following day, after climbing all over Mission Springs’ buildings and grounds, Roy gathered the shell-shocked staff to announce his conclusions:  Miraculously, there was no structural damage, just significant cosmetic damage,” Engwall says. When a staff member asked Johnston how he could find time to inspect the camp when so many clients were calling for his services, he responded that Mission Springs was important to him. It was there that years before he had confessed Jesus as his savior.

Johnston was the father of Rob Johnston, former dean and provost of North Park College and Theological Seminary before becoming the current professor of theology and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary. He also was the stepfather of Curt Peterson, executive minister of the Department of World Mission.

The elder Johnston’s passion for world mission influenced Peterson’s desire to share the gospel with the rest of the world, Peterson says.

Johnston was once torn between attending seminary or becoming an engineer until T.W. Anderson – the only lay president of the denomination – told him that the denomination needed strong lay leaders, Peterson recalls.

He formed Brandow & Johnston in 1945 with a college classmate from the University of Southern California (USC)  and worked with the firm until retiring in 2002 at the age of 88. The firm participated in the design of 20,000 projects, including the Los Angeles Sports Arena, most of the modern USC campus and the Bradley International Terminal at the Los Angeles International Airport.

Peers bestowed numerous awards on Johnston. In 2000, he became the only person to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Institute for the Advancement of Engineering.

Johnston was pre-deceased by his first wife, Naomi. Survivors include his wife, Lucille; daughter, Judith Johnston; and son, Robert Johnston.

Memorial donations may be directed to the building fund of the Pasadena Covenant Church, 539 N. Lake, Pasadena, CA, 91101.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog