Cover photo for Francis Edward Johnston, III (LTC, US Army, Ret.)'s Obituary
Francis Edward Johnston, III (LTC, US Army, Ret.) Profile Photo

Francis Edward Johnston, III (LTC, US Army, Ret.)

December 22, 1933 — May 20, 2020

Lieutenant Colonel Francis Edward Johnston, III (Ret.), “Ed”, died May 20th at St. Joseph’s Hospital following a short illness. He was 86 years old. He was born in Savannah to Francis E. Johnston, II and Nina Hazlehurst Waring on December 22, 1933. After graduating from Fishburne Military School in Virginia, he returned to Georgia, graduating from the University of Georgia in 1955 earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Following his undergraduate studies, Ed joined the U.S. Army and attended flight training school at the U.S. Army Aviation Center at Fort Rucker, Alabama. During his twenty years of service as a pilot for the U.S. Army, he flew both fixed-wing and helicopter aircraft while completing two tours in Vietnam. He eventually became a Master Army Aviator and not only was an Instrument Flight Examiner he eventually taught the course. His many service and valor medals include the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, and the Legion of Merit. He finished his military career as an Inspector General of the 3rd Army. 

In 1975, Ed retired from the military and returned to Savannah where he worked as Chairman and CEO of a family-owned pharmaceutical company, Shuptrine Company, for the next fifteen years. An avid photographer, he also later owned and operated Coastal Camera Company, a camera repair business in Savannah.  

Ed was a member of St. George Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry as Senior Warden, sang in the choir, and was the Treasurer for many years. He played the guitar and later in life taught himself to play the keyboard. He had a beautiful voice and he could remember lyrics, sing and play for family and friends. Enjoying many pastimes, Ed was also a skilled woodturner and was a charter member and officer of the Lowcountry Woodturners. He could fix anything mechanical and had a knack for being handy.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his son Francis E. Johnston, IV. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Jane Yarborough Johnston; his daughter, Nina Johnston Bland (Kenny); stepdaughters, Julie Carper (Kenny) and Betsy Collins (Mickey); stepsons, Will Armfield (Cindy), Eddie Armfield (Shannon), and John Armfield (Robin); cousin, Noel Wright (Ruthie); 15 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.

Remembrances include St. George Episcopal Church, 15 Willow Road, Savannah, GA and Station Exchange Senior Living, 3205 TSX Grand Central in Richmond Hill, GA.

Memorial Services to be announced at a later date due to the coronavirus.

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