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Celebrating the life of
Ruth "Bennie" Johnston
November 15, 1947 - March 09, 2015
Ruth "Bennie" Johnston
Services under the direction of:
Bradshaw Carter
(713) 521-0066
  • Memorial Service
  • 11:00am - Saturday, March 21, 2015
  • Trinity Episcopal Church
  • 1015 Holman (Map)
    Houston, Texas 77004

  • 713-528-4100

I very much regret this huge loss and feeling the pain his family are going through, I want to share the hope that very soon "will be a resurrection from God", as the Bible tells us in Acts 24:15. Courage and strength to all your family at this painful time. www.JW.org

Gerardo, Kissimmee, FL

I had grown up going "Up North to the lake" every summer, and stayed in the littlest cabin called "Wren's Nest" on the end. Bennie once told me that was her favorite cabin, and having that in common opened conversations that went on for hours. Bennie treated me like family, when she had no reason to, other than we were now connected by the love of that paradise, and she had a heart of gold, wanting to share it. Years after I had last stayed in that cabin, she made it possible to share that cabin experience with my own daughter. There was nothing better than driving through the trees to see Bennie's smile and arms wide open for a hug waiting for us when we got there, year after year, and welcoming us in with fresh veggies from her garden (and we can't leave without getting more veggies to take home!) and of course hugs from the dog(s). I loved her like an Aunt, and will miss her hugs when we arrive at the lake, but I know, of all the places Bennie could be in spirit form, it would be there, near her garden, lake, and woods. So when I return to Long Beach, I will say hello to the lake, hello to the loons, and hello to Bennie. All my love to her family!

Jenny and Rachel Nilsen, Todd Williams, Big Lake, MN

I was so sorry to hear about Bennie. Sending you my sincere condolences to the whole family.

jacki pauley, Missouri City, TX

Our prayers are with Mike and his family. The Hudson's(Amanda and Wes, Serge and Anne and Hallie, Shane and Brooke and Luke and Jack, and Ammie and Keith and Keaton and Sadie.

Hudson, Richmond, tx

We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you.

Sam and Georgia Akers, Houston, tx

Sometimes you are lucky enough to cross paths with an inspirational person. We were when we met Bennie. Fiery, passionate, strong and delightful are words that perfectly describe this bold beautiful woman. She never allowed her bodily pain to defeat her positive attitude and hold her back, and the term "Full speed ahead" comes to mind when we think of her. Thanks for being a part of this world.

Kathy and James Berardo, Sugar Land, TX

Our thoughts and prayers are with Bennie's family as they reflect on her well lived life and embrace her spirit as they too live life to the fullest! With Prayers & Love, lisa & Randal Glenn

Randal & Lisa Glenn, Sugar Land, TX

i did not know her well, but I knew enough...she delighted me! The video was awesome and told her story beautifully. She will be so missed,and has been so loved. I am so sorry for you and your families loss! Cookie

Cookie Ashton, Houston, texas

I was heartbroken to read of Bennie's passing, having never known about her illness. My Sister Deb and I lived next door to Bennie's Aunts Ruth and Peg for many years. Bennie was their caretaker and guardian angel the last several years of their long and happy lives. That is how we got to know her. We loved Ruth and Peg like members of our own family. and Bennie was the apple of their eyes. The last time I saw Bennie, she had come by our house to console me for having just lost a pet who had been loved by us all, ending her days in my care. She was always a very kind and thoughtful person, and while we were aware Bennie had medical problems she had battled for years, she never mentioned that she was facing such a trial in her life. We wish to express our great sadness at hearing of her passing, and our condolences to her wonderful and loving family. You are all in our prayers. May God Bless.

Travis Payne, Houston, TX

We are so saddened to hear of Bennie's passing, but we know she was joyfully welcomed into heaven. We were renters at Long Beach for years, and Kay Powell was a dear friend. So when we met Bennie, it was as though we had known each other for years! She was so gracious and welcoming, and so generous with still wanting to share Long Beach. We loved Bennie, and will dearly miss her.

Linda and Gordy Nilsen, Anoka,, MN

Bennie was my neighbor. I watched as the outstanding transformation of their home in Avondale took place. I saw Bennie at the Triniy coffee hour and was delighted she came to our Jazz Service. I loved getting to gab with her at church. Bennie played mahjong with me and told funny stories that would always send me into giggles. I missed her each time she traveled north and really had climate envy when she would return with stories of a cool weather summer. Bennie was my age, her kids similar to my kids age, she love big ole dogs and i saw in her all things you would need for a first rate friend. She was kind and funny. A little bit of my heart broke away when i knew she wouldn't be part of my life. Still how grateful i am that she touched my life. I will miss her. I think about her little family so often-- always tenderly.

Sylvua Drew Greg. LeGrande, Montrose, Tx

She liked SyFy, woman after my own heart! The first year is usually the hardest because it has all the firsts, first holidays without her and such. My mom passed in 2010, I think I talk to her more now than ever. Your mom will always be a presence in your life forever. God bless and comfort you and yours. Love, M

Marilyn Colbert, Austin, TX

Your mother was obviously an incredible woman and so accomplished. I can tell that she loved life and lived it to the fullest. I have been so fortunate to know Ben this past year and I can see where his delightful presence, kindness and compassion for others comes from! My heart aches for your family at this difficult time and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. With Grace, Maurine

Maurine Ford, Houston, Tx

Ben, what a lovely tribute to your Mother. I now understand how you grew up to be the warm, loving and generous person you are. How I wish I would have met her. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Linda Rhodes, Deer Park, Tx

    Ruth “Bennie” Goggan Johnston, born November 15, 1947 in Houston, Texas to Walter Goggan and Ethel Christian, was an extraordinary human being whose brilliance will continue to shine well beyond the day she took her last breath on March 9, 2015. Bennie fought late stage uterine cancer for almost a year and chose to lay down the sword with which she had so valiantly battled when diagnosed with pneumonia only that morning. She passed on to the infinite in the arms of her family—a fitting passing for a woman who loved her family more than life itself.
    Bennie is survived by her husband, Mike, daughters Ali and Dane, son Ben, and grandsons Gregory and Yuriy. Intelligent, witty, gracious, and loving, Bennie’s sassy spirit and open nature meant that she was always an engaging conversationalist. She delighted in cooking and hosting meals and holiday get-togethers, but you had to be careful: it wasn’t wise to play Scrabble with her… She knew every Latin prefix and suffix and could easily beat the pants off of her competition! It was her competitive nature and a profound love of animals that led her to training and showing her two Portuguese water dogs later in life, both in the ring and out on the water. She considered herself extremely fortunate to have had a lifetime of special canine and feline companions, and they brought her great comfort through her various health challenges over the years. Those who knew her well knew that Bennie had a terrific sense of humor and she loved to be the contrarian. Her self-proclaimed “lucky day” was always Friday the 13th and when asked as a youth about her religious affiliation, she would matter-of-factly reply, “I’m a Botulist.”
    Though she denied it time and again, Bennie was extremely creative and accomplished—capable of designing and making everything from dresses to sweaters, and knitting incredibly complex socks, hats, blankets and even diaper covers for her grandson! Her ingenuity extended to her garden in Minnesota as well, where she cultivated scores of edible plants and magnificent flowers that she, her family, and her friends enjoyed for much of the year. The world always seemed full of magic and wonder in her eyes and in her hands.
    Bennie’s profound spirituality and imagination were nourished by her insatiable appetite for Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels and her deeply moral Irish Catholic father whom she loved and respected immensely. During high school, Bennie had research positions at both the Houston Museum of Natural Science and M.D. Anderson Hospital and was eventually offered full scholarships to both MIT and Rice. Bennie fortunately chose the latter as this is where she met her husband-to-be, Mike. And though she chose to be a homemaker for the early years of her three children's lives' (all born within 3 1/2 years of one another!), Bennie was esteemed in her professional life as well, working both as an accountant and office manager for many years while somehow managing to shuttle her children across the city several times a day for their myriad of extracurricular activities. In the midst of all of these pursuits, she volunteered at C.A.S.A., the Catholic Church, Ft. Bend Women’s Center and Houston’s Covenant House and expanded her horizons with continuing education courses at Rice University.
    A memorial service honoring Bennie’s life will be held in midtown Houston at the Trinity Episcopal Church (http://www.trinitymidtown.org/) on Saturday, March 21st at 11:00 A.M. Her family thanks the medical professionals and caretakers whose care of Bennie during this difficult journey provided comfort to us all. And finally, the family is grateful for the legacy of love, positivity, and grace with which she continues to inspire.
    Many of you have been very kind and expressed a desire to send flowers, however, in lieu of flowers please consider donating to Covenant House Houston—a wonderful neighborhood non-profit organization and home for homeless youth at which Bennie volunteered frequently. (https://www.covenanthouse.org/) Donations can be sent directly to:
    Covenant House
    Attn: In Memoriam for Ruth “Bennie” Johnston
    1111 Lovett Blvd.
    Houston, Texas 77006

SHARE YOUR CONDOLENCES

  

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I very much regret this huge loss and feeling the pain his family are going through, I want to share the hope that very soon "will be a resurrection from God", as the Bible tells us in Acts 24:15. Courage and strength to all your family at this painful time. www.JW.org

Gerardo, Kissimmee, FL

I had grown up going "Up North to the lake" every summer, and stayed in the littlest cabin called "Wren's Nest" on the end. Bennie once told me that was her favorite cabin, and having that in common opened conversations that went on for hours. Bennie treated me like family, when she had no reason to, other than we were now connected by the love of that paradise, and she had a heart of gold, wanting to share it. Years after I had last stayed in that cabin, she made it possible to share that cabin experience with my own daughter. There was nothing better than driving through the trees to see Bennie's smile and arms wide open for a hug waiting for us when we got there, year after year, and welcoming us in with fresh veggies from her garden (and we can't leave without getting more veggies to take home!) and of course hugs from the dog(s). I loved her like an Aunt, and will miss her hugs when we arrive at the lake, but I know, of all the places Bennie could be in spirit form, it would be there, near her garden, lake, and woods. So when I return to Long Beach, I will say hello to the lake, hello to the loons, and hello to Bennie. All my love to her family!

Jenny and Rachel Nilsen, Todd Williams, Big Lake, MN

I was so sorry to hear about Bennie. Sending you my sincere condolences to the whole family.

jacki pauley, Missouri City, TX

Candle tribute lit by Amanda HUdson — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Giovanna Imperia — Texas

Our prayers are with Mike and his family. The Hudson's(Amanda and Wes, Serge and Anne and Hallie, Shane and Brooke and Luke and Jack, and Ammie and Keith and Keaton and Sadie.

Hudson, Richmond, tx

Candle tribute lit by Elizabeth Germany — Pennsylvania

Candle tribute lit by Dane and Yuriy. We love you so, so, so infinitely much, Mommy/Bay-Bay. We think about you every minute of every day. — California

Candle tribute lit by Liudmila Gogoshina, Russia — California

We are so sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you.

Sam and Georgia Akers, Houston, tx

Candle tribute lit by Mike and Pat Journeay — Texas

Sometimes you are lucky enough to cross paths with an inspirational person. We were when we met Bennie. Fiery, passionate, strong and delightful are words that perfectly describe this bold beautiful woman. She never allowed her bodily pain to defeat her positive attitude and hold her back, and the term "Full speed ahead" comes to mind when we think of her. Thanks for being a part of this world.

Kathy and James Berardo, Sugar Land, TX

Candle tribute lit by Marty Sprecher — Arkansas

Our thoughts and prayers are with Bennie's family as they reflect on her well lived life and embrace her spirit as they too live life to the fullest! With Prayers & Love, lisa & Randal Glenn

Randal & Lisa Glenn, Sugar Land, TX

Candle tribute lit by Rae Ann Stuard — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Bryan LaFrance — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Marcus Rice — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Spencer Howard — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Bonnie and Terry — Minnesota

i did not know her well, but I knew enough...she delighted me! The video was awesome and told her story beautifully. She will be so missed,and has been so loved. I am so sorry for you and your families loss! Cookie

Cookie Ashton, Houston, texas

Candle tribute lit by Travis Payne — Texas

I was heartbroken to read of Bennie's passing, having never known about her illness. My Sister Deb and I lived next door to Bennie's Aunts Ruth and Peg for many years. Bennie was their caretaker and guardian angel the last several years of their long and happy lives. That is how we got to know her. We loved Ruth and Peg like members of our own family. and Bennie was the apple of their eyes. The last time I saw Bennie, she had come by our house to console me for having just lost a pet who had been loved by us all, ending her days in my care. She was always a very kind and thoughtful person, and while we were aware Bennie had medical problems she had battled for years, she never mentioned that she was facing such a trial in her life. We wish to express our great sadness at hearing of her passing, and our condolences to her wonderful and loving family. You are all in our prayers. May God Bless.

Travis Payne, Houston, TX

Candle tribute lit by Erich Ploog — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Rob Kerchner and Garrett Zoeller — New Jersey

We are so saddened to hear of Bennie's passing, but we know she was joyfully welcomed into heaven. We were renters at Long Beach for years, and Kay Powell was a dear friend. So when we met Bennie, it was as though we had known each other for years! She was so gracious and welcoming, and so generous with still wanting to share Long Beach. We loved Bennie, and will dearly miss her.

Linda and Gordy Nilsen, Anoka,, MN

Bennie was my neighbor. I watched as the outstanding transformation of their home in Avondale took place. I saw Bennie at the Triniy coffee hour and was delighted she came to our Jazz Service. I loved getting to gab with her at church. Bennie played mahjong with me and told funny stories that would always send me into giggles. I missed her each time she traveled north and really had climate envy when she would return with stories of a cool weather summer. Bennie was my age, her kids similar to my kids age, she love big ole dogs and i saw in her all things you would need for a first rate friend. She was kind and funny. A little bit of my heart broke away when i knew she wouldn't be part of my life. Still how grateful i am that she touched my life. I will miss her. I think about her little family so often-- always tenderly.

Sylvua Drew Greg. LeGrande, Montrose, Tx

Candle tribute lit by Cynthia Hager — Minnesota

Candle tribute lit by Sheila Dreher — Iowa

Candle tribute lit by Carol Cobb — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Rachel Toh — Texas

She liked SyFy, woman after my own heart! The first year is usually the hardest because it has all the firsts, first holidays without her and such. My mom passed in 2010, I think I talk to her more now than ever. Your mom will always be a presence in your life forever. God bless and comfort you and yours. Love, M

Marilyn Colbert, Austin, TX

Candle tribute lit by Jackie Hasling — Texas

Candle tribute lit by Dennis & Bill — Texas

Your mother was obviously an incredible woman and so accomplished. I can tell that she loved life and lived it to the fullest. I have been so fortunate to know Ben this past year and I can see where his delightful presence, kindness and compassion for others comes from! My heart aches for your family at this difficult time and know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. With Grace, Maurine

Maurine Ford, Houston, Tx

Ben, what a lovely tribute to your Mother. I now understand how you grew up to be the warm, loving and generous person you are. How I wish I would have met her. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Linda Rhodes, Deer Park, Tx


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