Betty J. Johnston, 92

May 16, 2019 by

Published May 17, 2019

MELROSE — Betty J. (Hoag) Johnston, 92, a resident of Melrose and formerly of Burlington, passed away peacefully surrounded by her loving family at Massachusetts General Hospital on Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

Betty was born in N.Y., adopted at age eight by an aunt and uncle, and their daughter, Dorothy Rothe, in Malden and graduated from Malden High School. She trained as a cadet nurse during WWII at N.E. Hospital for Women and Children which later became Children’s and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals. She married William A.”Bill” Johnston on June 11, 1949 at Robinson’s Church, Malden. They both craved a large family, a goal to which they succeeded, having seven children at their Winter Hill, Somerville home.

Betty was a talented and devoted nursing supervisor for over 56 years at Somerville Hospital, and was a hard worker, an outstanding nurse and respected mentor, encouraging many into the nursing profession, leading by her excellent example. She worked full time nearly lifelong while she managed a very busy family. Betty has stayed in close contact with her many nursing friends who still meet regularly as family and friends were everything to Betty.

She had many hobbies and was an active member of the 200 Club for Seniors in Melrose and worked to raise funds for activities. She enjoyed travel, and hunting for yard and estate sale treasures with her friends and family to benefit the seniors and their fairs, dinners and parties. Betty was an amazing cook and her apple pies, zucchini bread, roast beef dinners, snicker doodles, Christmas cookies, brownies and potato salad will be missed by many, as well as her wonderful Christmas parties. She actively cooked for her senior events.

Betty enjoyed knitting, reading, and travel with her friends and family and loved summers in P.E.I., North Conway, at Lake Ossippee, and visits to New York and to Maine with the girls. She played Bingo with joy, enjoyed scrabble, LCR and poker card games and was lucky at the casino. She gave freely of her time and volunteered at the Food Pantry and the front desk at Fuller House, Melrose where she lived the past four years. She shared her love and apartment with her coon cat, Shadow.

Her many children, grand and great-grandchildren and friends will miss her sweet TLC, her amazing work ethic, her gentle guidance and most of all, her unconditional love.

Betty was an amazing and devoted wife, mother, nurse and friend. “Goodness and mercy followed her all the days of her life” and she will be greatly missed.

Betty was the beloved wife of the late William A. Johnston with whom she shared 39 years of marriage. Cherished mother of Carol Roberts and her late husband George of Melrose, Linda Muccioli and her husband Kevin of Melrose, Nancy Wells of Concord, N.H., David Johnston of South Boston, Margaret Ankiewicz and her husband William of Tewksbury, George Johnston of Burlington, and Paul Johnston and his wife Janis of Woburn. Proud grandmother Jim, Sean, Josh and Eric Roberts, Mathew Muccioli, Michael, Bonnie and Danny Wells, Kristen Babcock, George Myers and Lauren Riley, Darryl, Kaylene and Laura Johnston, Brandon Johnston, Dylan and Ryan Johnston. Loving great-grandmother of Jon, Tyler and Shane Roberts, Kelsey and Lauren Roberts, Kalia and Taylor Roberts, Emily and Jake Wells, Michael Jr. and Colin Wells, Dalton and Iris Wells, Zach Johnston, Julian Johnston, Gabby, Anthony and Ricky Alicea, Connor Babcock-Gillis and Eowyn Babcock, Patrick and Emma Riley. Also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews and cherished friends.

Relatives and friends gathered in honor of Betty’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Monday, May 13, and again for her funeral service celebrated on Tuesday. Interment was at Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. Donations in her memory may be made to Kelsey’s Krew at, Cure SMA, 925 Busse Rd., Elk Grove, Il 60007. For online tribute or directions:

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