Jean Johnston

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Barbara "Jean" was born in Toronto on August 1, 1930 to parents Walter and Mabel (Jefferson) Pearson. She joined older sisters Joy (1927), Betty (1929), and was later joined by younger sister Nancy (1936). The Pearson family mixed farmed in the Weston area. Jean soon began school at Richview S.S. #4 in Etobicoke Township before attending Islington High School. Unfortunately, her younger sister became seriously ill in the late 40's and died in 1949. Once she finished her schooling Jean began working for a local company, Avro, as a Secretary.

While attending a church social in the late 40's, Jean was introduced to one David "Lloyd" Johnston. Lloyd was working at a farm in the Weston area, and the two hit it off immediately. They were married a short time later at Richview United Church, by Rev. T.D. Jones on May 20, 1950. The newlyweds soon settled on Lot 5, Concession 15 of Brant Township. A year later they moved to Lot 6, Concession 2 of Elderslie where they began their family. Jean and Lloyd soon welcomed sons David (1953), Doug (1957), and Murray (1970). During these years, Jean kept busy caring for and providing for her young family. Before Murray's arrival, she returned to the workforce as a Nurse's Assistant at the Chesley Hospital and later worked at Bruce Packers. Once Murray was in school, she returned to her health care career as a Personal Support Worker. She worked at Brittany Villa for a time period before taking a job opportunity with the Red Cross, supporting patients in their homes. Jean loved this job immensely, working into her 70's before being forced to retire early in 2000. Apparently, Jean was not so happy with this decision but eventually came to peace with it.

In her free time, Jean enjoyed knitting, quilting, needlepoint, and baking. She was a fabulous cook, with her roast beef dinner being a favourite to many. In fact, at the 1976 International Plowing Match in Walkerton, Jean was the head caterer for the Paisley Curling Club tent. In short order, her tent and more specifically, her food became the place to eat at the event. No Sunday was complete without a family meal, prepared with love by Jean. Likewise, Jean was famous for her Christmas baking. She would often start at least a month before Christmas and have endless trays of squares, cookies, and Christmas cakes. She also enjoyed preserving, with jams and pickles being her specialty. Some of her grandchildren referred to her as "mash potato grandma," so that should tell you everything. When not cooking for her family, she loved entertaining extended family and friends. No one ever went hungry at the Johnston residence. Jean enjoyed completing Word Searches and Crosswords. She was an avid gardener, enjoyed going for walks as well as lawn bowling and curling. She and Lloyd competed in a variety of tournaments and bonspiels through the years. They also loved to dance, especially to Crystal Chandelier, attending most of the local dances, and even square danced.

Jean loved spending time at the beach. Gobles Grove for a picnic dinner during the summer months and Sauble Beach were two of her favourites. For several years, Jean and her sisters rented a cabin in Sauble for the family to gather and catch up. Many life-long memories were created during these times together. Lloyd and Jean also owned a trailer, which was located at Woodland Park. As you can tell they always kept busy and truly enjoyed each other's company and getting out together. They did a bit of traveling, going west for a cattlemen's trip, visiting Texas, dipping her toes in the Pacific Ocean, and winning a trip to Sweden... yes, you read that right! Jean was an avid reader, with author Nora Roberts being her favourite. She had a real soft spot for Harlequin Romance novels and often referred to them as her "smutty novels."

Jean and Lloyd sold the farm in the early 80's, but remained in the house. A fire in 1983 forced them to move up the road in 1985, calling the Brant-Elderslie Townline, home. They retired to Chesley in 1991, before moving to Paisley in 2005. It was here where Lloyd became ill and he died in 2007. Sadly, a part of Jean died that day too, as her soulmate and lover left her. Although she put on a strong front, those who knew her well, knew that her health began to decline.

Jean was a warm, caring individual with an infectious smile. She was extremely organized and always made others feel welcome when at her home. Likewise, when asked to help, she found it hard to say "no", often volunteering her time with a variety of causes. Her church was also of great importance to her. In addition to being an active member, she also held the position of caretaker for a time period. Ask the boys about her drive home from church with the bumper hanging off the car, it’s a great story! Stories were also told of Lloyd and Jean’s 25th wedding anniversary and how three pigs from the barn, were released in their bedroom by a few unnamed culprits. Needless to say at least one of these pigs ended up between the upstairs floor and downstairs ceiling… yikes! There were fireworks in the Johnston home that night.

Jean loved her family dearly and was very family-oriented. She worked hard, made sure the boy’s sat up straight, and didn’t swear… right boys? However, I am told that Jean wasn’t perfect either as her two go-to phrases usually included “What in the Sam hell…” or “O shit…”

In 2007, Jean returned to Chesley were she remained until 2011. It was at this time it was decided that she required a little more care and support whereby she called The Village apartments in Hanover her new home. Sadly, her dementia worsened with time and in 2015 she made her final move to Brucelea Haven. Here she continued to receive love and support throughout her remaining days. Jean passed away on Sunday, June 28, 2020 in her 90th year.

Beloved wife of the late Lloyd Johnston (2007). Jean will be dearly missed by her sons David of R.R. #2 Stratford, Doug (Diahanne) of Teeswater, and Murray (Lori) of Tara. Loving grandmother of Stephanie (Matt), Melissa (Chris), Alan (Amanda) Carla, Pieter (Chelsy), Aidan, and great-grandmother of Ainsley, Cassidy, Hudson, and Nixon. Dear sister of Betty (Bernard) Ball of Owen Sound. She was predeceased by her daughter-in-law Alison Johnston, sisters Joy Goddart, Nancy Pearson, and her parents Walter and Mabel (Jefferson) Pearson.

Private services will be held with inurnment to follow in Douglas Hill Cemetery.

Memorial donations to the Alzheimer Society would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

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Teresa & Cliff James
July 8, 2020
Our condolences on the loss of your Mom. We always remember her smile. She was a gracious lady.
Floyd and Jane Fitzsimmons
July 4, 2020
What a great story about a wonderful lady. Just thinking about her and the memories we have had with this family makes us smile. Sorry for your loss.
Dan & Judy Bartley
July 4, 2020
A wonderful tribute to a loving and kind lady. There are so many great memories of Jean & Lloyd and the life the made. I can smell the dinner and taste the baking as I read this. Mmmm
Dan and I send our love and prayers to all of the family. Her memory of times will last forever.
Geo and Eliz
July 2, 2020
We were saddened but not surprised to hear that your mom had passed away.
When we were married, we certainly got to know Jean and Loyd . Over the years we had so many good times. Snowmobiling/Monday night card parties/corn roasts and the odd chivalri. Nothing much exciting happened those nights even though Bernard and Carols bed ended out on the front lawn . Better than having pigs in your ceiling!!
Our two families had so much fun together over the years-makes for 60 yrs. of great memories.xmszfp
Our sincere sympathy to the entire Johnston family from our family.
Steve McGilveary
July 1, 2020
My sincerest sympathies go out to you Murray and your family. I have very fond memories growing up of your parents with their friendly, welcoming hospitality. My thoughts are with your entire family at this time, your mother will be missed. My deepest sympathies to you.
Nancy von Richter
June 30, 2020
Our sincere condolences to you and your family. Lots of good memories.
Peter and Faye Steinacker
June 30, 2020
Sorry on the loss of your mother.
Nancy Kuhl (Cotter)
June 30, 2020
To the Johnston family, my deepest condolences on the loss of your mom. Your mom and dad were good neighbors and friends to my parents and I have lots of memories from the many neighborhood get-togethers. Jean was a lovely soul.
Linda Murray
June 30, 2020
Our condolences to the Johnston Family. We enjoyed having Lloyd and Jean as neighbours on 2nd Ave SW for many years.
Ken Johnston
June 30, 2020
My deepest sympathies from myself, Will and Emily. She was a special lady.
Christine Bregman
June 30, 2020
Sincere condolences for the loss of Jean. I have fond and fun memories of her. Prayers to the whole family.
Doug & Ann Reid
June 30, 2020
Sympathy to Doug,Dave Murray & families.
Memories of Jean & Lloyd especially thru the 'hunt gang' which always made for lots of fun & antics.
Suzanne Maxwell
June 30, 2020
Condolences to all of the Johnston Family. Many fond memories of our old neighbours, Lloyd, Jean and the boys! Thinking of you all at this time.
Sandy & Brenda McAllister
June 30, 2020
Our sincere condolences to Dave, Doug, Murray and families on Jean's passing. Thinking of you during this time.
Theressa Stade
June 30, 2020
Deepest sympathies to the family sorry for your loss
Eric and Sandy Weatherall
June 30, 2020
Our deepest sympathy to the Johnston family. We enjoyed many years of lawn bowling with Jean.
Vicki McDonald (Cotter)
June 30, 2020
My deepest sympathy to the entire Johnston family. Wonderful neighbours and friends. I have great memories of card parties and corn roasts. Your mom was a lovely person and always had a friendly smile and warm hello whenever I saw her. Thinking of you during this difficult time.
Dwayne Frook
June 29, 2020
Murray and Family,

My deepest condolences to you on the loss of your Mom. She was always so kind and friendly. Thoughts and prayers to you at this difficult time.

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accommodations in the chesley area

Our Testimonials

Well Nathan…due to COVID and everything going on, you did an excellent job and you went above and beyond our expectation. COVID changed a lot of things, but in the end we were very satisfied. Thank you! 

Mary Kaufman

I can think of nothing you could have done to better improve our experience. My grandchildren & I all felt relaxed and so appreciated your quiet, excellent care of our family. You provided dignity & caring – so much appreciated. I somehow knew we were in good hands.

Joan Saunders

We were very pleased with everything. So much positive feedback was received! We felt so very supported and cared for throughout!! We would recommend your funeral home in a heartbeat. We were so happy to travel from Barrie to Chesley to have you take care of our John. Thank you all so much!

Margaret Ellis & Family

Because of COVID-19 we had to do the complete service from home via D.V.D. GREAT!

William Hall

I was amazed that I could smell KFC fries when I first walked in at the visitation. That was so lovely. My husband would have loved it. Thank you again for that! 

Sheila Jacobs

[I] have already told many people what an amazing job you did. My entire family and friends couldn’t agree more! Everything was totally looked after. Things I never would have thought of were either done or brought to my attention. Thank you so much for everything you did. It made a really rough time a little easier to handle. Thank you!

Dianne Veen

“One of a kind” service as well as ongoing support! Beyond [our expectations] and Thank You.

Carol Vallie

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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