David Wayne Johnston of Thibodaux, LA, previously of Northwest Arkansas, passed away on January 29, 2019 at the age of 69. He was born in Camden, AR to Lewis A. and Patty Grier Johnston on Sept. 21, 1949.
David spent his formative years excelling in sports in Paris, AR and graduated high school there in 1967. After attending Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia for two years, he joined the United States Navy in 1969. He served in Vietnam through 1973 with SEAL TEAM ONE, an experience that defined the rest of his life. His boyhood dream was to be a “commando” and a police officer when he grew up. He fulfilled this dream by joining the Arkansas State Police upon his return to his home state. He returned to active military with the AR National Guard in 1983, then to JRTC OPFOR as a Special Forces Combat Engineer. He traveled extensively to Central and South America as a Senior NCO for a Joint Task Force, achieving the rank of Master Sergeant. He dedicated most of his life serving his community and his country because he loved this Land and the freedom it represented.
He enjoyed outdoor photography, fishing, his dogs and adored his family. David loved his wife’s Cajun cooking and became proficient in the art of turkey frying at Christmas. Storytelling was his true talent, and all his narratives were based on true events, or so he said.
David is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Nancie Gory Johnston of Thibodaux, LA; his two children of whom he was so proud, Cara Kirby of Conway, AR and Kyle Johnston and wife Angie of Little Rock, AR. He was Papa John to grandchildren--Adam, Hannah, Jules and Cole and great-grandson Tristen. He is also survived by his sister Marilyn Brown and husband Albert of Sherwood, AR; nephew and niece Michael and Holly; niece Olivia Gory, with whom he had a special friendship, of Thibodaux, LA.
A memorial visitation will be at Burns Park Hospitality House, 402 W. Military Rd. North Little Rock AR on Friday, February 22, 2019 from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Following the memorial, a Committal Service will be held at 1:00 PM at the Arkansas Veterans Cemetery, 1501 West Maryland Avenue, North Little Rock AR.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Navy SEAL Foundation was David’s wish. https://www.navysealfoundation.org/donate/
Navy Seal Foundation