Ruth Elizabeth “Liz” Johnston

After a recent illness, Ruth Elizabeth “Liz” Duerfeldt Johnston passed away February 22, 2019, at the Mountainview Medical Center in White Sulphur Springs , Montana. She was 66 years old.

Liz was born on May 13, 1952, in Gordon, Nebraska, to Leonard R. and Helen R. Duerfeldt. Liz attended grade school and high school in Gordon, graduating in 1970. She attended Chadron State College for one year and then finished her education in Bozeman, Montana, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in education. While teaching home economics in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, she met her future husband, Michael L. Johnston. They were married on June 11, 1982, in White Sulphur Springs and lived out their lives there.

In addition to teaching, throughout her life, she also worked as a lifeguard, ranch cook, bartender, assistant treasurer for Meagher County, and in recent years, she worked as a clerk for Cougar Mercantile.

Liz was a creative and talented seamstress. Starting in high school she created fashionable clothes for herself and later shared her talents making garments and costumes for others. She was a strong athlete, enjoying tennis, skiing, swimming, and golf. She worked as a lifeguard for the Gordon Municipal Swimming Pool and the Hyannis Village Swimming Pool, both in Nebraska. She taught golf to the children of White Sulphur Springs, and the children of the Ashby and Ellsworth schools in Nebraska. 

She was a passionate animal lover, owning several dogs throughout her life, Sophie and Sam being the most recent. She was creative, funny, kind, energetic, and usually reacted quickly and passionately to all types of situations! She loved Montana and its way of life.

Liz was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Mike and brother-in-law Donny Johnston.

She is survived by her sister Peg (Bob) Finegan of Bingham, Nebraska, brothers-in-law Larry Johnston of White Sulphur Springs, Bobby (Diane) Johnston of Plains, Montana, sister-in-law Becky Johnston of White Sulphur Springs, two step-daughters, nieces and nephews and many friends. 

A memorial gathering was held Wednesday, February 27, 2019, at 2:00 p.m. at the White Sulphur Springs Senior Center. Memorials can be given to Meagher County Emergency Services.

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