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Dr. Joel A. Johnston

Obituary for Dr. Joel A. Johnston

February 2, 1956 - March 24, 2020
Maceo, Kentucky | Age 64


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

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Glenn Funeral Home and Crematory

900 Old Hartford Road
Owensboro, KY 42303
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