Bernard "Bernie" Johnston

September 23rd, 2022

JOHNSTON, Bernard (Bernie) Glen

May 24, 1961-September 23, 2022

Bernie was born in Didsbury on May 24 1961. He lived in the Didsbury/Westcott community his entire life. Bernie was the 7th child, the youngest of the family (4 boys and 3 girls). Bernie was raised in the original Didsbury hospital brick building along with his siblings. At the age 6, Bernie helped out his parents, Reg and Ruth Johnston, at the family-owned business “Johnstons Grill and Billiards” on Main Street. Bernie became a “professional potato peeler” (Which he accomplished while in the pool hall). In the following years he learned how to play pool and rarely missed an opportunity to play with the older gentlemen.

When he was 14, Bernie helped his family build a house and a greenhouse business (Tara Products) on the south west side of Didsbury. He took part in the operations, including planting many plants and conversing with all of the people coming and going.

At the age of 17, Bernie began working at Clem Kuelker’s welding shop in Didsbury, going on to apprenticeship and then began his career in welding. Over the years to follow he also worked at Niemeyer’s Welding then at Wild Rose Machining (This profession covered 40 years of his life).

Following this he began his first business under the name of “Bee Jay’s Welding” which later became “Riversbend Welding Ltd.” Throughout this period of time he was apprenticing young men, including nephews, and friends. (So many that we can not know the number of them). Three of these who apprenticed were his own children, Tom, Anna and Luke. This love of sharing his enthusiasm for the trade he practiced brought many others to this profession also; he was truly a remarkable man.

Bernie was married in 1985 and soon had four beautiful children – the love of his life. He worked hard to provide for his family, while building acreages from scratch.

Bernie loved loud music, including ALL music! He looked forward to being in the outdoors, fishing, camping, hunting and travelling with his wife, Stella, and with family and friends.

He also loved family history and was fascinated, and interested in the stories from the older generation. Interestingly he remembered ALL of those people and ALL of those stories.

On September 19, 2022 Bernie suffered a stroke/aneurysm which took his life 4 days later. Bernie was predeceased by his sister, Debbie (April 2006); his father, Reg Johnston (December 2008); and his mother, Ruth (November 2019).

Bernie is survived by his wife of 10 years, Stella; his children, Thomas, Anna-May, Jessica (Dalllas) Patten and Luke; as well as his stepdaughter, Amanda (David) Friesen. Bernie cherished his 7 beautiful grandchildren, Victoria and Logan Patten, Micalah and Danielle Johnston, as well as Maddox Johnston, Dante and Avayda-May. Bernie was a loving grandfather and Papa to his grandchildren, and was involved in any way, and at any time he could be with them.

Bernie is survived by his siblings, Peter (Marg) Johnston, Pat (Garth) Hollinger, Steve (Nancy) Johnston, Sandra (John) Reid and Dan (Vivian) Johnston. Also Aunts, Uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces too numerous to name.

Bernie had a sincere love for the Lord Jesus, so we rejoice that he is now abiding in the presence of Jesus. 

A Funeral Service will be held at Zion Church in Didsbury, AB, on Monday, October 3, 2022 at 1:00 PM. A livestream service will be available the day of Service at this link:


Bernie and I cousins and from the very first time I met the Johnston family, my brother Jon and I were inseparable from Bernie and his sister Debbie. Most of our trips to Canada were spent at the Johnston house in Didsbury and we always had so much fun. Bernie was a man with a big heart and love for his family. He made every moment into an adventure and each meal into a time of great conversation. He was funny, he was always available. I am guessing there will be many stories at his memorial that will tickle each soul as they remember this great man but the most important is that he loved his Savior with all of his heart and is now rejoicing in Heaven . To all my family up North--my heart grieves along with yours. We love you all and are praying for peace and comfort that only Jesus can give. Stan and Iris Wellman

I loved chatting with Bernie on our regular walks through the neighbourhood. He always had a ready smile, a friendly wave and something positive to say. Our condolences to all who loved him.

What a beautiful tribute to Bernie. We were fortunate to have Bernie live in our community (Westcott) for a number of years and enjoyed his company at various events. In our teen life, my sisters and brothers (John, Eric, sister Toni , George and I )would also spend time at Johnston's grill where we got to know Ruth and Reg, and Bernie as we enjoyed a hamburger, fries and pool game. We were the NEW BIG FAMILY in town and we appreciated the fact the the other BIG FAMILY took us in and welcomed us. The community has lost a good man, and he will be missed. Special prayers from our families to yours at this time. May God give you the strength to help overcome the grief to enjoy the good times at the later time.

Our condolences to the family. Steve and Linda Collinge.

I am very sorry to hear of Bernie's passing. I met Bernie in 1976 when I moved to Didsbury and we got along right then and there. Over the years we had many good times and laughs and he also did a few welding jobs for me. Bernie was an awesome guy, genuine and a big heart. RIP my friend.

Very sorry to hear about Bernie. He will be greatly miss by all who knew him

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