Roy J.  Johnston

Roy J. Johnston

November 5, 1925-January 15, 2023

As published in the January 23, 2023 World-Spectator


Roy Johnston passed away on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at Moose Mountain Lodge, Carlyle, Sask. at the age of 97 years.

Roy was born on the farm at SE 14-7-6 W2 on November 5, 1925, the sixth of seven children.

He went to school at Kitchener and Kisbey Schools.

He was much more interested in the animals at the farm. He would go to bed with his shoes on so that he could hit the floor running in the morning to see which horses the men had taken to the field.

His love of horses lasted his lifetime. His first favorite was Bit O Gold, a Thoroughbred stallion that he had for many years. Rolayz, an Arabian stallion followed that.

Later when involved in Pregnant Mare Urine, PMU, he branched into Belgian and Percheron horses. His love of the Thoroughbred came out again, and he crossed the heavy mares with the Thoroughbred stallion, selling these cross-breds to the United States for fox hunting and sport horses.

His grandson’s family continued this venture for him.

He was one of the first farmers in Saskatchewan to be in PMU in 1965. He sold many horses for PMU prior to that, with those horses being shipped by rail to Eastern Canada.

He was in PMU for about 40 years with up to 200 bred mares in the barn each season.

His other huge passion was custom combining, especially in the United States. There were many, many local young men who went south combining with him and still tell stories of the adventure.

He could talk to anyone about horses or combining right to the end.

Another pastime in the last year was having family visitors read from the history book. His memory was amazing with those events.

Hector McAlaster was high on his list of people to check out. Hector had worked for Roy’s parents for many years. Others to read about were the Johnston family, along with the names of neighbours that he had grown up with.

Roy married Grace Worden in December 1950. From that union there were two children, Glenda and Terry. After more than 25 years they parted ways.

He later married LaVerne Iverson from Fessenden, North Dakota in 1987. They were married till she passed in 2012, which was another 25 years of marriage.

Roy and LaVerne lived at Carlyle for many years, then moved to Golden West in Arcola, then to Coteau Place.

After LaVerne’s passing, Roy went to New Hope Lodge at Stoughton for nine and a half years and had just recently got moved to Moose Mountain Lodge in Carlyle to be closer to family.

That was the best Christmas present any of us could have gotten. He had a huge number of visitors in his short time there.

Roy is predeceased by his mother Ethel and father Sandy; Grace, the mother of his children; his wife LaVerne; all his siblings and their spouses, Vera and Joe Moat, Kenneth and Ethel Johnston, David Johnston, Margaret and Walter Olsen, Marjorie and Lorne McElroy, Norman (Kelly) and Mildred Johnston.

Roy is survived by his daughter Glenda, her son Greg, and great-grandchildren, Lane (Mariah), Jordan (Justin), Cody (Callie), Shae-Lynne (Eric) and Hannah (Walker); his son Terry (Terry) and their children, Jeremy (Carrie), Jill (Mark Satre), Chase (Micky) and great-grandchildren, Chelsea, Miranda, Mason, Jaron, Elsie, Owen, Ella; and great-great-granddaughters, Meadow and Miller.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Roy at a later date in the spring.

Donations in memory of Roy can be made to the Arcola Perpetual Cemetery Fund. Mail them to Town of Arcola, Box 359, Arcola. SK S0C 0G0; e-transfer to with note ‘in memory of Roy Johnston’; or drop off at the office.

Hall Funeral Services in Estevan is caring for Roy’s family – Yvonne Clark, Funeral Director.