Melvin Sidney Johnston
Melvin Sidney Johnston of Packwood, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020, at Mercy Hospital in Iowa City, from COVID-19 cardiac complications. A private immediate family service will be held with a Celebration of Life service to be held at a later date. Memorials may be given to the Packwood First Responders & Fire Department. Friends may leave online condolences at www.cranstonfamilyfuneralhome.com.
Melvin Johnston was born on July 23, 1936, in rural Washington County, Iowa, to Sidney and Ruth McAfee Johnston. He was raised on the family farm, where his love for everything agriculture began. Melvin attended school in Packwood and was a star athlete, graduating with the Class of 1956. Throughout high school, he helped his father on the farm and also worked for other local farmers in the area. He also served six years in the U.S. Army National Guard.
On Dec. 10, 1960, Melvin was united in marriage to the love of his life, Wilma Miller. This was the first step on a journey together that lasted over 60 years. They became loving parents to two daughters, Lisa and Carol. Melvin and Wilma began their farming operation by renting several farms and eventually moved to their current farm south of Packwood. He would call it home for the rest of his life. With the purchase of the home place he was able to diversify his operation into feeder calves as well as hogs and row crops. In the early 90s, Melvin began selling livestock equipment for Titan West. His ability to discuss and sell to farmers what they needed through his own experiences made him very successful at his job. Melvin partnered his sales job at Titan West with his farm for over 30 years. Melvin's love for farming was only surpassed by his love for his family. He always made time to attend his girl's activities and later in life was a proud devoted and doting grandfather. He was an avid baseball fan who enjoyed following the St. Louis Cardinals and the Iowa Hawkeyes. Melvin was a member of the First Lutheran Church in Fairfield as well as the Packwood Lions Club. Melvin's love for the land he worked and his knowledge as a gifted cattleman will live on through his family. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother and friend who will be deeply missed.
Melvin was preceded in death by his parents and two siblings, Leon Johnston and Wanda Kientz.
Left to share his story is his loving wife, Wilma Johnston of Packwood; two daughters, Lisa (Eric) Dahlstrom of McKinney, Texas, and Carol (Pie) Reighard of Richland, Iowa; five grandchildren, Paris (Alex Campbell) Dahlstrom, Connor (Rachel) Dahlstrom and Gunnar Dahlstrom, Cole (Samantha DeVoe) Reighard, and Sloan Reighard (Keaton Philips); one great-grandchild, Vail Dahlstrom; three sisters, Beverly Westendorf of Davenport, Doris Aller of Sun City, Ariz., and Faye (Steve) Davis of Hedrick, Iowa; a sister-in-law, Julie Johnston of Packwood; as well as many extended family and friends.