LaDema Belle Johnston was born June 17, 1929 at Plankinton, SD to Harold and Blanche (Bergeson) Vearrier. They moved to the Storla area where she attended grade school. She attended Letcher High School for two years and graduated from Mitchell High School in 1947. On August 30, 1947 she married Willis “Bill” Johnston. They resided in Mitchell where she worked at the Rubyann Café, Roxy Theatre, Feinsteins and the Mitchell Produce and Creamery. They moved to Artesian in 1957 and she was employed by Glenn’s café in Forestburg and the Artesian Café. They moved to Mitchell in 2005.
She was a member of the Artesian First Lutheran Church and the VFW Auxiliary.
She is survived by her husband; two sons: Rocky Johnston and wife, Kim of Wakonda, SD, Stacey Johnston of West Fargo, ND; six daughters: Paula Pence of Mitchell, SD, Georgia Goudy of Artesian, SD, Debbi Carter and husband, Byron of Rapid City, SD, Jackie Olson and husband, Dale of Forestburg, SD, Jerilyn Button and husband, Lyle of Mitchell, SD, Billie Arredondo and husband, Eddie of Houston, TX; twenty-nine grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
She is preceded in death by her parents, step-father, Vernon Stange, two brothers, Delois and Rodney, one sister, Darla Steuve, an infant son, Richard and a granddaughter, Kassia Pence.