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Marcia C. Johnstone

Educator, volunteer

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 3:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 3:46 p.m.

An educator who once taught for the Department of Defense in France, Petaluma resident Marcia Carolene (Cerva) Johnstone was a docent for the de Young Museum of San Francisco and an active volunteer in the Petaluma community.

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Marcia C. Johnstone

Mrs. Johnstone died on April 22, 2013 after a decade-long battle with cancer. She was 74

Born in Nampa, Idaho, she attended Nampa High School, and graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., in 1960, with a bachelor’s degree in English. She became an educator, eventually teaching for the Department of Defense in Toul, France, where she was engaged to then Captain Homer Johnstone of the United States Army. The couple was married in Nampa on Aug. 9, 1963.

During Mr. Johnstone’s Army career, she endured his two deployments to Vietnam and multiple moves, building a family while making homes in Fort Belvoir, Va.; Walla Walla, Wash.; Leavenworth, Kan.; Tampa, Fla.; McLean, Va.; Wilmington, N.C.; Seoul, Korea; New York City; and San Francisco, where Mr. Johnstone retired as a Brigadier General.

Beginning in 1987, Mrs. Johnstone became a docent at San Francisco’s deYoung Museum, learning about and teaching art history for nearly 25 years. Upon her husband’s retirement, they moved to Petaluma, where she became involved with the First Presbyterian Church, the Petaluma Historical Society, and numerous other community causes and events.

Her family described her as “the epitome of kindness and devotion. Despite the sacrifices she made as an Army wife, she maintained an abiding love for her nation, and instilled that in her children.”

She is survived by her husband Homer; sons, Michael Johnstone, of Tiburon, Jeffrey Johnstone, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Ryan Johnstone, of Salt Lake City, Nev.; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4 at the First Presbyterian Church, 939 B St., Petaluma.

Memorial contributions in her name may be made to the Wounded Warrior’s Project.

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