Isabelle MacMillan Johnston died peacefully in the early morning hours of Thursday May 11th at Sunrise Senior Living in Mississauga, ON. She had just turned 95 a week earlier.
Isabelle was born on May 4th, 1928, the only child of Dr. F.S. Murray (Clinical Director of Saskatoon Hospital) and Olivia MacMillan Murray in Saskatoon. She was an extremely bright child who, at an early age showed a sense of humour and curiosity about life. She read her first word at the age of two.
Isabelle studied at the University of Saskatchewan where she obtained a B.A. in English Literature and History, and graduated Magna cum laude. After a brief stint working in Toronto, she returned to Saskatoon where she met and married Donald Johnston L.L.B. They lived in Calgary for five years, but moved to Toronto when Don was offered an executive post with Trans Canada Pipeline.
They bought a home in Port Credit on Pine Tree Crescent where they met many new friends. Her husband, Don, died quite suddenly of heart failure in 1984, but Isabelle continued to live in her home for many years and remained in Port Credit.
Isabelle was a firecracker ball of energy and no one who met her could forget her. She was full of fun and said she never met anyone who did not interest her. She was a world traveller and a first- class reader of sundry books. She got involved in many organizations, often filling in executive positions as needed. She received an award for her work with the local Canadian Hard of Hearing Association and was President of both The Canadian Federation of University Women (local and provincial) and the Women’s Art Association of Canada. She also trained as an English as a Second Language instructor and met and mentored many people from around the world.
In her own words, Isabelle enjoyed, and she knew it, many of the blessings of this world: wonderful parents, a fine husband and REALLY GREAT FRIENDS. For all of these she is grateful and thanks you all.
Above all things, her loving heart loved life. She had the means to indulge her enthusiasms and both embraced and parodied her queenly role. For those of us who knew and understood her well, she will be greatly, GREATLY missed.
A private service will be held for her. Donations can be made to the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation or to the Ontario SPCA and Humane Society.