Colleen Anne Johnston

October 29, 1950 ~ May 6, 2022 (age 71)


Colleen Anne Johnston - B. Music (Queen’s), B. Ed. (Western), M.A. (University of Toronto). Born October 29, 1950, in Penticton to Laura Jean and Chester (Ken) Johnston. Passed peacefully May 6, 2022.

Mother of Dr. Zoe Alexis Lang (Boston) and foster mother of Jimmy Katarenga (Uganda). Survived by siblings Marilyn Newton, Lorne (Christine), Laurene (Carl) Stacy, Ken, and Louise Willemsen (Dave Rooney). Predeceased by her sister Kenna Meghanne Stoddart.  Proud aunt of numerous nieces and nephews.  

Having taught numerous talented youngsters’ piano performance, theory, and history, Colleen also taught English, film studies, drama, and special education at high school in Cambridge, Ontario while regularly writing an insightful and often humorous arts-related column for the Kitchener Record daily newspaper.

Over her decades of often tiring work, Colleen maintained friendships with Liz Brown of Stratford, and former roommates from Queen’s: Sally Basmajian and Joyce Archer. Pat Rittinger, Dan Maitland, Chuck Howitt, Bob Duncan, Jay Rahn and Sharon Harris, Dorion Carmichael and Michael Steinberg, were also dear friends.

Colleen retired from teaching and writing in 2005 and returned to Penticton. Following a serious interval with malignant melanoma and subsequent treatments, she rested only long enough to resume a further career as a deli clerk at Penticton Safeway.  She enjoyed working with the elderly, especially meal-planning and nutrition.

Colleen remained entranced by music, film, reading, and was especially grateful for Turner Classic Movies.  Colleen touched everyone with her compassion, humour, and love.

In lieu of flowers, contributions to Foster Parents Plan of Canada and the Canadian Cancer Society would be welcomed gifts, in memory of Colleen. Special thanks to caregiver, Teresa and Aunt Jean.  A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date. Condolences may be made to the family through

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