Funeral services for Etta Ruth Johnston, 76, Springfield, Missouri, formerly of West Plains, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, October 24, 2016 at the Langston Street Chapel of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.
Mrs. Johnston passed away at 5:37 p.m., Wednesday, October 19, 2016 at her home.
She was born January 9, 1940, at West Plains, Missouri, to John David Sylvester Willard and Lilith Day Tilman Willard. She graduated from West Plains High School. On July 4, 1982, she was married at West Plains, to Cecil Johnston, who preceded her in death on September 10, 1999. Mrs. Johnston worked at Bank of America, formerly known as Boatmen’s Bank and Centerre Bank, for many years. She also was a personal accountant, owned a service station with her husband, played organ and piano at Southern Hills Baptist Church and sold Avon, which she enjoyed very much. Mrs. Johnston’s greatest joy was taking care of everyone. She collected clocks, Elvis memorabilia and recipe books; she was known for being a magnificent cook. Mrs. Johnston was a member of Church of God.
She is survived by three children, Rick Kerley and wife, Melody, Moody, Missouri, Robert Kerley, Jr. and wife, Michele, Winona, Minnesota and David Kerley and wife, Jamie, Branson, Missouri; son-in-law, Al Hensley; seventeen grandchildren, Kimberly Kerley, Kayleigh Nanney and husband, Zack, Adam Kerley and wife, Tammy, Rebecca Feyen and fiancée Tom Linville, William Kerley, Nathan True, Clayton Spencer, Amanda Spencer, Andrew Phillips, Rebekah Jones, Harley Kerley, David Tyler Kerley, Amber Kerley, Harmony Stewart, Gavin Magnuson, Zane Barbrow and Mackenzie Barbrow ; sixteen great-grandchildren and one on the way; two brothers, Herbert Willard and wife, Pat, St. Louis, Missouri and Ralph Willard, Dallas, Texas; three sisters, Mary Downing, Fountain Inn, South Carolina, Lola Bixler and husband, Pastor Bob Bixler, Victorville, California and Ethel Willard, Anderson, Indiana; and many nieces, nephews and cousins, including a special niece, Zanetta Willis.
Her parents, husbands, Robert Kerley, Sr. and Cecil Johnston, one daughter, Lily Ruth Hensley and two brothers, James Eldean Willard and Elbert Lee Willard, precede her in death.
Visitation will be from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m., Sunday, at Langston Street Chapel of Robertson-Drago Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Oak Lawn Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Association of West Plains and may be left at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.