Roy Johnston

April 8, 1943 - January 11, 2024
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Marana Mortuary & Cemetery
Dennis & Lucy Smith Light a candle



Roy Lynn Johnston was born on April 8, 1943 in Dyess, Arkansas to Otho and Goldia Johnston and passed away on January 11, 2024 in Tucson, Arizona. He was the youngest of 5 siblings.


Roy married Kathy Morton on December 22, 1979 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They spent 44 magical years together. Through Roy and Kathy’s wonderful marriage came Lance married to Colleen, Trampas married to Laura, and Trever married to Monique. Roy dearly loved his 4 beautiful granddaughters and 5 handsome grandsons.


Roy graduated from Sandia High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico and enlisted in the United States Navy in 1961. He served as a radio operator on surveillance flights between Hawaii and Alaska looking out for Russian spy planes during the Cold War. His squadron was released early with honorable discharge in 1964.


Roy then went to work at the Nevada Test Site to develop a nuclear rocket engine for Mars exploration. He transitioned to the Las Alamos Laboratory and was involved in experimenting with particle beam fusion. Roy went to work for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico and was transferred to the Tonopah Test Range in Nevada, working on various top secret projects.


When Roy wasn’t working, he enjoyed road tripping in his gold wing motorcycle. One adventure he retold was transporting a grandfather clock in the Equalean Sidecar of the motorcycle!


Roy retired in 2005 and surprised the family with a big blue motor home. That is how the road tripping adventures continued. Pops enjoyed fishing the many lakes around Colorado, seeing fall colors in New England, visiting national monuments, and exploring the Everglades in Florida. Eventually, the road tripping evolved into sea cruises including tours of Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, and the Northeast.


His final years were spent in Tucson, Arizona at an assisted living facility with his family and friends.

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Timeline for Roy Johnston

Born: April 8, 1943
Died: January 11, 2024

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Marana Mortuary & Cemetery

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Marana Mortuary & Cemetery.


Dennis & Lucy Smith posted on 1/23/24

Roy was a wonderful grandpa! Thank you for loving our Apache girls! We praise the Lord for His promise that Roy is now with Him as He lived a life of loving Jesus and his family. 🙌🩵 May our Heavenly Father comfort all the Johnston family!


Ellie Beede posted on 1/23/24

May Roy’s memory bring the Johnston Family great comfort. Rest in Peace, Roy.