WASHINGTON — Constance Raynes Johnston, 97, beloved mother, grandmother, great and great-great grandmother, passed away December 27 from complications after a fall in early December.
She was born February 8, 1923 in Augusta, Maine, the daughter of Nathan and Marjorie (Carey) Raynes. She looked forward to being in God’s loving care.
Connie grew up in Augusta, graduating from Cony High School in 1941. A friend introduced her to Talbot Johnston at the Windsor Fair, and after a brief courtship, they married in 1942. Early in their marriage they moved around Maine where work took them, and by 1945 they were towing three young children with them.
They moved back to Washington where they purchased the farm where Talbot grew up. Connie fell into farming life easily, learning quickly how to can vegetables, churn butter, and making every penny count. Grammie Blanche, Talbot’s step-grandmother, lived with them until her death and during that time taught Connie to make the best doughnuts, among other things. Three more children would round out their family by the mid-50s.
Over the years, Connie was involved in Eastern Star, Grange, PTA, Cub Scouts, church choir, Hill and Gully Riders snowmobile club, Schooner Belles chorus, Ladies’ Guild, 4-H Club, and numerous other groups. She watched for enemy planes during the cold war years, and took census for the town. She was always ready to lend a helping hand when needed, whether it was from loss of a home from fire or making sure one of the neighbors got to an appointment. After the children had gone on their own, she delivered mail for the USPS throughout Washington.
While raising her own children, she also took care of Talbot’s uncle, a double amputee who moved back from California in the early ‘60s. Still, she and Talbot found time to do some travelling together, enjoying trips to Quebec and throughout the United States. After Talbot died in 1993, she spent winters in Zephyrhills, Florida.
Besides her husband, she is predeceased by her siblings Pauline Hulett, Warren Raynes, and Ralph Raynes and their spouses; and all of Talbot’s siblings.
She is survived by her children, Talbot William Jr (Lesley) of Charleston, South Carolina, Ralph (Elaine) of Waldoboro, Sally (Bill) Fernald of Zephyrhills, Florida, Patricia (Mike) Kukachka of New Hope, Minnesota, Martha (Lawrence) Johnston-Nash of Union, and Thomas (Debbie) of Washington; three sisters-in-law; also missing her are 11 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. Additionally, she counted as family 41 step-grands, great-grands and great-great-grandchildren.
Her family was of utmost importance to her, including her many nieces and nephews and their families who say she doted on them.
A graveside service will be planned by the family in spring. The family suggests planting flowers and sharing them with friends and neighbors in remembrance of her spirit and generosity.
Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland. To share a memory or condolence with the Johnston family, please visit their Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.