Dr. Joel A. Johnston

  • Born: February 2, 1956
  • Died: March 24, 2020
  • Location: Maceo, Kentucky

Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory

900 Old Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303

Tel. (270) 683-1505

Tribute & Message From The Family


Dr. Joel A. Johnston, 64, passed away at his home Tuesday, March 24, 2020, after a hard- fought battle with cancer. Dr. Johnston was born February 2, 1956, in Ft. Pierce, Florida, to Ira Johnston and the late Ann Allen Johnston. The family relocated to Madisonville, Kentucky, where he grew up and graduated from Madisonville North Hopkins High School. He attended Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky, for two years where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity before transferring to Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Kentucky, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree. In 1985 he was accepted into the University of Kentucky School of Medicine and graduated with a degree in Family Practice in 1989. After completing his residency at Anderson Memorial Hospital in Anderson, South Carolina, he began practice in the Emergency Room at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital where he remained until it merged with Owensboro-Daviess County Hospital. At that time, he began Family Practice in Hancock County, Kentucky. While in Hancock County he also began to work part-time in the Ohio County Hospital Emergency Room until 2011 when he had the opportunity to go full time at Ohio County Hospital Emergency Room. Emergency Room medicine was his real passion and he remained there until cancer forced his retirement in 2019.
Dr. Johnston was a quiet, caring, compassionate man who loved God, nature, his personal and professional families, UK sports, music, theatre, Old South Bar-B-Q and Diane's Bakery. He gave back to the community in many ways: as camp physician at New Song Music Festival for several years, as church youth director in area churches, he accompanied Dr. Hurley on a medical missionary trip to Haiti, he appeared in area Christian dramas, he sang in the church choir and in the local Messiah, and he was a fervent supporter of St. Judes Children Hospital.
Dr. Johnston is survived by his wife of 40 years, Denette Johnson Johnston; sons, Joshua Johnston (Shonda), of Winchester, and James (Jay) Johnston of Owensboro; grandson, Carter, and granddaughter, Autumn, of Winchester; father, Ira Johnston, of Madisonville; sister, Mary Jane Poole (Mitch) of Madisonville; 4 nieces, 2 nephews, several great-nieces and great-nephews; 1 great-great niece; and mother-in-law, Sandra Pride of Owensboro. He was preceded in death by his mother, Ann Johnston; a nephew, Caleb Jenkins; and a great-nephew, Michael Bayne Canon, Jr.
The family would like to express their appreciation to all the people who helped in any way during these difficult times.
In compliance with health and public safety directives, a celebration of Dr. Johnston's life will be held at a later date.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations to:
Wendell Foster Rehabilitation Facility
815 Triplett Street
Owensboro, KY

Memories and condolences for the family of Dr. Joel Johnston may be shared at www.glenncares.com.


Condolence & Memory Journal

We have such great memories from Lexington during med school. We happened across Joel's obituary and were broken hearted to hear about his fight with cancer. Our love to Denette and the boys. Please notify us when the funeral is scheduled.

Posted by Stu and Anne Larson - Danville, KY - Friend   May 27, 2020

Dr. Johnston was a wonderful man and doctor. He served as medical director for us at both Hancock County EMS and Hawesville Fire Department. However, some of my best memories are from our time at New Song. He always visited the back stage crew, often at dinner time! He was one of the most caring people I have ever had the privilege to know. He will be missed.

Posted by Dwayne Stanley - Lewisport, KY - Friend   April 29, 2020

The world has lost an incredible light and all who met him were blessed. Will never forget the times we had in training- and Joel kept us all upbeat and able to face adversity with a smile.

Posted by Matt Cline - Anderson, SC - Friend   April 06, 2020

I'm so sorry to hear of Dr Johnston's passing. He was a wonderful doctor and compassionate man. He had a great love for others and his family. Prayers for comfort in the days ahead.

Posted by Anita Joiner - Beaver Dam, KY - Coworker   March 30, 2020

Dr. Johnston was a very loving and caring man and we enjoyed his weekly visits at the bakery. We will miss him and hope that Denette, Jay, and all the family are doing well. If we can be of help to you all please let us know.

Posted by Rita, Elizabeth, Donna Rose, and Diane The Family Bakery (Diane's Bakery) - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 30, 2020

Dr. Johnston was a very compassionate physician and a truly wonderful man! I am thankful for the times I got to be in his presence! My heart breaks with this news and sending prayers and hugs for his family! RIP Dr. Johnston! You will not be forgotten! Your legacy lives on

Posted by Stephanie King - Newburgh, IN - Acquaintance   March 29, 2020

My best to Denette, the boys, and Ira in his passing. He impacted many, many lives.

Posted by Tom Major - Elizabethtown, KY - Classmate   March 28, 2020

Denette, I am so sorry for your loss. Joel was one of my favorite Lambda Chi brothers. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Posted by Keith Frazier - Ashland, KY - Friend   March 28, 2020

So very sorry for your loss...May he Rest In Peace, Amen

Posted by Judy Carrico Bielefeld - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 28, 2020

So sorry for your loss DrJohnston was a kind person he treated my mom at ohio county hospital

Posted by Sheila Potter Raley - Beaver dam, KY   March 28, 2020

May The Lord bless you and comfort you. Praying that in due time your sorrow will turn to precious memories.

Posted by Baker Family - Owensboro, KY - Family   March 27, 2020

So sorry for your loss. Kathy and I will continue to keep you all in our prayers...

Posted by Dan Dowdy - Owensboro, KY - Acquaintance   March 27, 2020

Dr Johnston had the highest respect from everyone who had the honor of meeting him. I've never heard a bad thing said about him. Great doctor and man. I'm sure he's being welcomed in his new home with open arms.

Posted by Denny Roberts - Owensboro, KY - Family Friend   March 27, 2020

Denette, Josh, and Jay: My prayers are with you during this trying time. I spent many nights at Doc's house, you guys were always so nice and welcoming. Thank you for being like a 2nd family for me growing up. A wonderful person that always had a smile on his face. You will be greatly missed

Posted by Joseph Wedding - Indianapolis, IN - Family Friend   March 27, 2020

I loved this dr, he was such a kind,caring man, so sorry for your loss, prayers for his family

Posted by Brandy Casey - Beaver Dam, KY - Acquaintance   March 27, 2020

My deepest condolences. I was seen by Dr. J many times over the years in the Ohio County ER. I deeply respected the man, as he did ALL his patients that he treated. I always respected his straight forward honesty. He will deeply missed.

Posted by Rhonda Rowan - Beaver Dam, KY - Acquaintance   March 27, 2020

You have my deepest sympathy. Dr. J was a very kind caring doctor. He treated my family when we were patients and friends for many years at Southwire/NSA and then the Hancock Clinic. So sorry for your loss.

Posted by Carolyn Roberts - Tell City, IN - Friend   March 26, 2020

My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I've known Joel from growing up with him at First Baptist Church as young children into our teenage years, may he Rest In Peace.

Posted by Leslie Hibbs Huddleston - Madisonville, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

Danette and family. I am so sorry to hear of
Dr,Johnston's passing.i have many great memories when we worked together at south wire.and enjoyed meeting you.those were the good old days. You are in my prayers.

Posted by Bonnie Stiles brahm - 2010 northview dr,ferdinand, IN - Coworker   March 26, 2020

Denette- I am so sorry for your, the family's, and our loss.Joel was a great friend and frat brother and will be sorely missed by many. May God comfort you in these trying days.

Posted by Sam Penn - Lexington, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

When I first came to Owensboro in 1981, and came on staff at (then) Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, Dr. Johnston made me welcome and appreciated. He would call me when stroke and other acquired brain injury patients were admitted, alert me to the consult, and brief me on the patient and any pertinent dynamics. We had lively discussions in the doctor's lounge and he would call my attention to articles, treatment protocols, and the like. He was passionate about his work. It was an honor to have known him. It is clear to me that many folks will recall him with great affection.

Posted by Dr. James Naas - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

Joel, you were a good to me at KWC. Imagine my surprise when you showed up as the ER Doc at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital where I was the chaplain. And then we had several years together when I had the privilege of being pastor for you and your family at Maceo UMC. And then you were my physician while you were practicing in Hawesville. And finally we got connected again through Christ Community Church. Our lives have been intertwined for over 42 years. I look forward to how God will allow us to continue our friendship as brothers in the Lord throughout eternity. Denette, you have been in our thoughts and prayers more than you know over the years. You have been a devoted and faithful wife and mother. Many will be your rewards in Heaven.

Posted by Mike Marx - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

I am so sorry for your loss. He was such a good man. I have great memories of the soccer games that Josh and Zach participated in. May the Lord give you His Peace during this sad time.

Posted by Jean Byrd - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

So sorry for your loss. I worked with Dr. Johnston in the ER at Ohio County Hospital. He was a caring and wonderful compassionate man. I feel very blest to have known him. Remembering the family in prayer.

Posted by Vicky Hendricks - Hartford, KY - Coworker   March 26, 2020

Joel was a youth leader of mine at Livermore UMC. I loved him dearly and he was so much fun!! I still remember the lock-in we had in the church basement and you made pizza for us!! He was a great man of GOD and He gained his spot in heaven!! May the peace that only GOD can give you comfort you at this time.. He will truly be missed!! Prayers for you all.
Angie (Sartain) Bumpus

Posted by Angela Bumpus - Livermore, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

I had the honor to work with Dr.Johnston several different times an and it was always a pleasure to watch him interact with his patients and co-workers with kidness an compassion. He was one in a million an will be missed greatly.

Posted by Karen Yeckering - Utica, KY - Coworker   March 26, 2020

I had the honor to work with Dr.Johnston several different times an and it was always a pleasure to watch him interact with his patients and co-workers with kidness an compassion. He was one in a million an will be missed greatly.

Posted by Karen Yeckering - Utica, KY - Coworker   March 26, 2020

I watched Dr. Johnston work his medical magic when I worked in the Mercy Hospital ER. His compassion for the patients and their families was always above and beyond what anyone could expect.

Posted by Paul McCarty - Calhoun, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

Good man. Sorry for your lose.

Posted by Jill Morris - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

Danette, my heart breaks for your loss. Joel was so caring. He will be missed.

Posted by Sherrie Girten - Lewisport, KY - Neighbor   March 26, 2020

So sorry for your loss. We all have such fond memories from the early soccer years of a wonderfully nice and funny man. Our thoughts and prayers to all of the Johnston family.
The Bradley family( Doug Tammy Kelly and Ryan)

Posted by Doug Bradley - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

Candle

Dr. Johnston was such a great man. I worked with him for several years in Mercy's ER. He was a friend to us all. He shall be missed and never forgotten. My prayers go out to his family.

Posted by Nancy McClintock - Champaign, IL - Coworker   March 26, 2020

Joel was the funniest cousin. He never found anything bad. He loved everyone and helped everyone. Rest now my friend. God be with Denette, Josh, Jay, Uncle Ira and Mary during this time.

Posted by Julie Allen McCormick - Madisonville, KY - Family   March 26, 2020

My prayers have been with you all during these days. Dr. Johnston was a wonderful man. I worked with him at Mercy Hospital and was touched by his medical knowledge and his deep compassion. I'm blest to have known him. May the days ahead be ones of gratitude for having been with him all these years.

Posted by Mary Danhauer - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 26, 2020

Candle

So sorry, Denette, Josh, and Jay. Joel was such a kind, compassionate man. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Donna Kaelin - Utica, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

We first met Dr. Johnston in the ER at Ohio County Hospital. He was our doctor while at Ohio County Family Care. We enjoyed sharing funny stories with him and are grateful to him for our health care. We are so sorry to hear of his passing. He will be missed by many, Debby and Honus Shain, Pine Knob, Kentucky

Posted by Debby and Honus Shain - Pine Knob, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

Dr J was a great man and an even better friend,I will miss our golf games, his sense of humor,and our conversation about the CATS.His kind and generous sprit and his caring attitude will be rewarded. I thank the Lord for the time I got to spend with him in the ER. May the Lord grant your family peace and understanding.You will be missed.

Posted by Zack Montoya - owensboro, KY   March 25, 2020

Dinette I am so very sorry for you and your family's loss. I so admired you both during the time I was fortunate enough to be touched by your sweet lives. You may not remember me but know I've never forgotten all of you. Most sincerely, Holly Reynolds, Speech Therapy

Posted by Holly Reynolds - Owensboro, KY - Teacher   March 25, 2020

Dr. J was my doctor when he worked in Lewisport. What a blessing he was and really was sad when he left there. Always so compassionate and kind. So sorry for the loss of this great man and doctor.

Posted by Carol Harper - Hardinsburg, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

Candle

A wonderful, compassionate physician. He was my husband's doctor for a little over a year. Appreciated him very much. RIP.

Posted by Sharon and Larry Ford - Hartford, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

Dr. Johnston was a very kind & compassionate doctor. He took care of my Mother as well as myself. Our hearts are grieved at his passing. Praying for you all

Posted by Jeff & Debbie Forrest - Friend   March 25, 2020

Dr. Johnston dedicated his life to medicine, and deeply cared for his patients. I had the privilege to work with him at The Hancock Clinic in Lewisport, KY and could not have had a better role model. When I think of the perfect character and making of a man...it would be Joel Johnston. He dedicated his life to his family, work, patients, friends and was always a gentleman. God bless him for he will be missed by so many...a life well lived.

Posted by Faye Houston - Owensboro, KY - Coworker   March 25, 2020

I had the privilege of working with Doctor Johnston in the Mercy ER. He always had a great attitude on busy days. He always made me laugh.. He at times would walk around the ER shaking a grove. He was a brilliant Doctor and he will greatly be missed. Fly high my friend. God bless you and your family.

Posted by Janet (Hayden) Jones - Owensboro, KY - Coworker   March 25, 2020

Candle

Mrs Johnston I am so sorry to hear about your husband. He was a wonderful person and Dr. He would love to pick on me when I had appointment with him, because he know my mom Betty Edwards. I am praying for you and your family.

Posted by Pam Edwards Yeager - Lewisport, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

One of the best men I knew while working at ODCH ER. Rest in Peace and prayers to all of your family. Becky Galloway, RN.

Posted by rebecca Galloway - owensboro, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

I'm so very sorry for your loss My thoughts and prayers are with you all. He was such an amazing person. He was so great with my family as a Dr just an amazing person all together. He will be missed so much.

Posted by Kimberly Burden - Beaver Dam, KY   March 25, 2020

Dr. Johnston will be sadly missed by his Ohio County Healthcare family. Prayers for his beautiful wife, in which he smiled every time he spoke her name.

Posted by Sue Wydick - Beaver Dam, KY - Coworker   March 25, 2020

So sad to hear this!!! Dr. Johnston was one of the kindest, most compassionate people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was my physician for years while he was in Hancock County. He always was patient and kind. I have never seen him when he didn't have a smile on his face and a compassionate word to say. May God be with those who loved him and knew him best. Prayers for peace and comfort!!! The world has lost an exceptional man, but heaven has gained an angel.

Posted by Jeni Smiley - Hawesville, KY - Acquaintance   March 25, 2020

Joel was a great friend and generous human who will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Hugh W. Houston

Posted by Hugh Houston - owensboro, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

Candle

Dr. Johnston was a great physician and always a pleasure to work with. He will be missed by so many. Thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Posted by Wayne Hall - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

Sorry to read about the passing of Joel. We went to school together and went to church together. Our parents were good friends. He will be missed. He is seeing JESUS fro the first time. Prayers for the family.

Posted by Cindy and Jim Kimgton - Hanson, KY - Classmate   March 25, 2020

I had the pleasure of working with Dr. Johnston in the Ohio County ER. He was such a kind and caring person. He will certainly be missed. Praying for peace and comfort for the family!

Posted by Gina Stallings - Owensboro, KY - Coworker   March 25, 2020

My deepest sincere condolences to you and the family. I worked with "Dr J." at Ohio County Hospital ER from his first employment till I retired in 2014. He was a very fine, compassionate man and I felt privileged to know him and work with him. May GOD give you peace in the days ahead and know that he was loved by us all !! God Speed .

Posted by Matilda Cotton - Beaver Dam, KY - Coworker   March 25, 2020

I met Joel while we were at KWC and we worked together in the ER at Owensboro Mercy. Thought the world of Joel, loved his sense of humor and his devotion to God.

Posted by Mary Julia Barbour - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

Please accept my heartfelt sympathy and prayers in your loss of this caring man. I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Marilyn York - Tell City, IN - Coworker   March 25, 2020

So sorry for your loss. He was a wonderful doctor and person.

Posted by Rosemary Emmick, OD - LEWISPORT, KY   March 25, 2020

So sorry for the lose of this beautiful and gracious man. Prayers for you all

Posted by Mary Durham - Island, KY - Coworker   March 25, 2020

So sorry about Joel's death. He was a great person and we enjoyed being friends of his parents. They were so proud of him. Joel did a good job speaking at his mother's funeral (that would be a difficult job, in my opinion) for a son to do. God be with you all. With our sympathy...Bob and Judy Adkins

Posted by Judy and Bob Adkins - Madisonville, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

My heart and prayers are with the whole family. He is a great man and will be missed by many for a long time.

Posted by Annette Williams - Lewisport, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

What a wonderful friend and doctor to our family. He will be missed greatly. We have lots of lots of respect for him and felt like we could really respect and trust him. Lots of good memories of his thoughtful care.

Posted by Dwayne & Joyce Duncan - Lewisport, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

Rest in peace.

Posted by Kimberly Sutton - Lenoir City, TN - Acquaintance   March 25, 2020

So sorry for your loss Denette. Joel was such a kind and caring physician. I will be remembering you and your family in my prayers.

Posted by Marcia Houston - Owensboro, KY   March 25, 2020

So very sorry to hear this. We were his patients for a very short time and thought the world of him. A truly fine doctor and person. Prayers to his family and friends.

Posted by Jr. & Tina Thompson - Hartford, KY - Acquaintance   March 25, 2020

Dr. J was a blessing to all God put in his path. We loved him. Prayers for comfort to you all.

Posted by Lisa & Paul Heady - Owensboro, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

I absolutely love this man, he was a wonderful doctor, and friend. We went to see the Christmas programs at his church.....he was Truly the STAR...I am terribly sorry to hear this news....he will surely be missed.

Posted by Karen Shaughnessy - EKRON, KY - Friend   March 25, 2020

Prayers for all. I was honored to get to know him. Will be missed

Posted by Sondra Matthews - McHenry, KY - Coworker   March 25, 2020


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honored to call him friend love you doc