A public visitation for Suzanne Betty (Hill) Johnston, 79, of Coos Bay, will be held from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm, Thursday, July 2 at Coos Bay Chapel, 685 Anderson Avenue in Coos Bay. A graveside service will follow at 2:00 pm at Sunset Memorial Park, 63060 Millington Frontage Road in Coos Bay with Pastor Bob Pedigo of Madison Street Community Church, Coos Bay, officiating.
Suzanne was born March 3, 1941 in Greybull, Wyoming; the first daughter of Dale J. and Maxine Jane Hill. She passed peacefully into the arms of our Savior Jesus Christ on June 23, 2020.
Suzanne grew up on the family farm outside Basin, Wyoming loving her time spent playing with cousins, helping with farm chores, and cooking for the many ranch hands. Her favorite thing was being on the tractor and helping her father. Suzanne soon gained many nicknames, Suzy, Suzy-Q, and Scooter from her family members who loved her sweet and kind demeanor very much. Suzanne’s musical inclination started at a very early age and she learned to play many instruments including the saxophone and piano. Her singing voice was what shined the most, and all who heard her play piano and sing agree there was nothing more beautiful. One cousin recently said, “… I would walk all the way from my house and do Suzy’s chores with the promise that she would sing for me”.
Suzanne met Robert Johnston in Basin, Wyoming and they fell instantly in love. Many days of riding around in his purple convertible and harmonizing together at the piano deepened their love. They were married April 16, 1958 in Billings, Montana and soon after their first child was born, Rodney Dale. Shortly after his birth, they moved to the Oregon coast, settling in Coos Bay. One year after their son was born, their second child, Carmen LorRae was born. Their third child, Kelly Suzanne was born one year later, followed by fourth child, Linda Deanette, four years later.
Suzanne’s faith and love of God were very strong and raising her children to know the Lord was very important to her. The family attended Madison Street Baptist Church for many years where Suzanne played piano/organ and was choir director. It was always a special treat when she and her husband sang for the congregation. Her faith in God never wavered even through the many trials of life, and we know she is with Him now adding her beautiful voice to the choir of angels.
Family was always important to Suzanne. She loved her children very much and always wanted the best for them. She worked many jobs selflessly to ensure her family was well taken care of.
Suzanne started working for the state of Oregon in 1976 as a clerical aide and quickly advanced to social clerk, where she spent the next 20 years helping others. Many clients loved her and her never ending help and compassion she always gave to them. She was loved by her co-workers and supervisors as well, saying how very kind, sweet and intelligent she was. Always a hard worker and always a sweet, loving heart. Suzanne retired after 20 plus years and spent her remaining years living and loving her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Suzanne is survived by her children, Rod and Linda Johnston of North Bend, LorRae Johnston of Coos Bay, Kelly and John Studdard of Vancouver, Washington and Linda and Duane Mayfield of Grants Pass; sisters, Linda Hocken of Beaverton and Dalette and Chuck Knight of Coos Bay; grandchildren, Matthew Johnston, Andrew Johnston, Tarah Croft, Victoria Croft, Joshua Zeigler, Jacob and Katelyn Zeigler; great- grandchildren, Weston Croft, Landyn Zeigler, Laynee Zeigler, Odessa Zeigler and Kennedy Zeigler; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Dale and Jane Hill; grandson, Jared Robert Zeigler; brother in law, Darrel Hocken and recently her husband, Robert Dean.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com
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