Irma Lucille Johnston

Irma Lucille Johnston was born Irma Pratt on July 7, 1928 in Fullerton, Orange County, California. She died September 23, 2017 at her daughter’s home in Ridgecrest. Irma was the third child and first daughter of Reese Pratt and his wife, Lena Fleming. Reese and Lena moved to California from Oklahoma about four years before Irma’s birth. Irma grew up in Fullerton and attended local grade schools and High School. She and her family were active in the Fullerton Church of the Nazarene and that’s where she met her future husband, Lloyd Harold Johnston whom she married on January 17, 1947. She wore a beautiful satin wedding dress she designed and sewed for the occasion. Irma and Harold celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary together in January of this year. She enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom until her three children were on their own then she worked as a technician for an aerospace firm and finally as a school bus driver for the special needs students in the Orange County School District. She was conscientious and diligent in all her work and especially as the driver for the special-needs youngsters. She knew them all by name and with good-natured teasing and encouraging, endeared herself to all of them. She had a heart-felt interest in the youngsters in her church as well and taught “Sunday School” classes for elementary-age children until she was 78 years old. Her own grandchildren were her greatest joy and she served as caregiver, swimming instructor, school teacher, etiquette guide and fashion consultant to all of them. She was a wonderful hostess and a gourmet cook who made sure every holiday and birthday was a special occasion. She was also an advocate for her husband, Harold, supporting his many activities promoting and performing the music he enjoyed so much. The adage, “Behind every great man is a great woman,” applied very aptly to Irma. She exercised a devout faith in God and was a fervent and disciplined prayer warrior and Bible student, always encouraging her family and friends to trust and depend on Jesus.

Irma was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 70 years, Harold, who died in June of this year. She was also preceded by her father, Reese Pratt, her mother, Lena Mae Fleming and brother, Robert Pratt. She is survived by siblings Kenneth Pratt, Thomas Pratt and Loretta Rice of California and Clarice Prescott of Pennsylvania. Also left to mourn her passing are her children and their spouses–Lorraine and Roy Randolph, Marilyn and David Best and Steven and Karen Johnston. Her beloved grand and step-grandchildren are Tim and Jeane Randolph, Sam Hartley and Josey Poulis; Andy and Julianne Randolph–children William and Daphne; Amy and Dean Ashworth–children Aidan, Benjamin and Damian; Julie Cornett, Royce Cornett–son Cole; Michael and Sirinda Johnston; Robert and Dustina Johnston—children Delilah and Haven; Kim and Matt Murray; Erika and Matt Timmer—children Jacob, Kyle, Jillian and —-; and Jay Britton. Irma’s funeral service will be at the Ridgecrest Church of the Nazarene on October 7th at 1 PM. She will be buried next to her husband in the Bakersfield National Cemetery, Arvin, California, on Monday, October 9th. A memorial fund has been set up at the Nazarene Church in her name to help support the children’s playground renovation project there.

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