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-J. Dale Johnston-

J. Dale Johnston, age 89, of Ainsworth, Iowa, died Saturday, July 20, 2013 at the M.L. McCreedy Home after a brief illness.

Celebration of life services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27, 2013 at the Fern Cliff Evangelical Free Church with Pastor Bob Spilger officiating.  Visitation will begin noon Friday at the Jones and Eden Funeral Home where the family will receive friends from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. Friday evening.  Interment will take place at the Fern Cliff Cemetery in rural Wayland, Iowa.  Memorials have been established for Fern Cliff Evangelical Free Church or to a general memorial.  Online condolences may be sent for Dale’s family through the web at www.jonesfh.com.

James Dale Johnston was born May 19, 1924 in Lone Tree, Iowa the son of Holly E. and Wilma (Smid) Johnston.  He started school in Wyoming.  After moving back to Iowa, he attended Havre Country School and graduated from Crawfordsville High School in 1942.  Dale enlisted in the United States Navy following high school.  He served as a Radioman Second Class during World War II on the Minesweeper U.S.S. Salute in the South Pacific.  It was sunk in June of 1945 in the Brunei Bay, Borneo Invasion.  During this event, he was injured and received a Purple Heart.  He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1946, and was honored to be featured in the book We Lucky Few.

Dale was united in marriage to Ruth Schantz on May 16, 1948 in Crawfordsville, Iowa.  Dale and Ruth lived in Ankeny, Iowa for a short time where Dale worked for Dairy Genetics. They resided most of their lives south of Ainsworth, Iowa, where Dale farmed until his retirement.

Dale was a charter member of Fern Cliff Evangelical Free Church.  He belonged to the Farm Bureau, and was a member of the Crawfordsville American Legion Schantz-Mitchell Post.  He was also a member of the National Rifle Association, and the Navy Minesweeper Association.  He was a regular member of the coffee group at the Ainsworth Four Corners.

Dale is survived by his wife, Ruth of Ainsworth, Iowa; three daughters, Jane Johnston of Ainsworth, Iowa; Janice Johnston-Jones and husband, Don of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; and Laura Mincer and husband, Larry of Columbus Junction, Iowa; four grandchildren: Patrick James Mincer, currently serving in the United States Navy, stationed in Whidbey Island, Washington; Holly Marie Johnston-Jones of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Kaitlin Anne Mincer of Columbus Junction, Iowa; and Alex Edward Mincer of Columbus Junction, Iowa.

He was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Kenneth Johnston; and one sister, Betty Eichelberger.

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