Marie English Johnston, 94, passed away on March 4, 2021, in Ft. Worth, TX. Marie was the last child to be raised in Shackelford County’s Sedwick community. Though she traveled extensively, she spent most of her life in Houston, Austin, and Abilene before moving to Ft. Worth.
Marie was born on Christmas Eve, 1926. She was the oldest daughter of Naomi Criswell English and William Lucas (Bill) English of Sedwick.
She started her education in a two-room school in Sedwick , and often said that the ability to listen to the lessons that interested her, rather than the ones on her grade level, led to a lifetime love of learning.
Marie remembered dividing her time between helping her mother with chores on the ranch and going to town with aunts Margie and Georgie English who lived next door. In 1938, Marie transferred to Moran schools and graduated valedictorian of her class at Moran High School in 1943.
Marie attended the University of Texas at Austin and made lifelong friends at the Kirby Hall dorm. She also met Dallas Johnston, a tall East Texan who had returned from World War II to study accounting.
In 1946, Marie graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. She worked for a year in Houston as an accountant for Frazer and Torbet Accounting Firm.
In 1948, Marie and Dallas married in Moran. They moved to New York City for several years while Dallas was an accountant at Texaco. They moved back to Texas in 1951, when Dallas took a job with Barber Oil Company, and raised their three daughters in Houston. When her third daughter went to preschool, Marie joined Falcon Enterprises as an accountant, where she worked until 1993.
Marie and Dallas were always active in their church, Southwest Methodist, and the Briarmeadow neighborhood association. Marie was the first woman president of the Greater Houston Council of Camp Fire, and was instrumental in establishing their first camp and first owned office in Houston.
After Dallas’ death in 1981, Marie moved to Austin, where she served on the board of the Woodlands neighborhood civic association, and was a member and past chairman of LAMP (Learning Activities for Mature People) at UT.
She always enjoyed returning to her Sedwick roots, and she celebrated in 2002 when the English ranch received the Family Land Heritage Award from the state of Texas for 100 years of continuous family ownership. She modernized Margie’s home “across the patch” from the main house into a country home where she spent many great times with family and friends.
In 2006, Marie moved to Wesley Court Retirement Community in Abilene to be closer to her birthplace, and spent her final years in Ft. Worth at Brookdale Westover Hills. Marie enjoyed years of good health, which she attributed to the tank water she drank growing up on the English ranch.
Survivors include three daughters: Lynn J. Howard of Louisville, KY; Lisa J. Long (Thomas) of Houston; and Laurie J. Garner (Pat) of Ft. Worth. She also leaves grandchildren Sarah Howard Galloway (Bart) of Louisville, KY; John Dallas Howard of Louisville; and Kathleen Long Turner (William) of Houston, as well as great-granddaughter Nell Marie Galloway. Other family includes nephew and nieces: Shof Moore (Thelma Gregory) of Abilene, Dianne Britton (Tom) of La Marque, Linda Harris (Bob) of Lufkin, and Shelby Moore of Mooresville, SC.
Marie was predeceased by her loving husband of 32 years, Dallas; parents, Naomi and W.L. English; granddaughter, Erin Marie Long; son-in-law, Dr. John D. Howard; sister, Donna Moore and husband Bill Moore; nephew Richard Love; and great-nephew Tanner Moore.
The Johnston family would like to thank the staffs of Brookdale Westover Hills and Wesley Court Retirement Center for their loving care of our mother during her later years.
Due to Covid restrictions, a small family celebration will be held at the Moran Cemetery at a future date. Contributions may be made to YMCA Camp Grady Spruce, 3000 Park Road 36, Graford, TX 76449 or charity of your choice. PD