The News Courier in Athens, Alabama


January 19, 2013

Mari Jayne Johnston

— Mari Jayne Kirk Johnston, the classiest, sassiest Southern belle we knew, died Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City at the age of 65.  She was born on Jan. 26, 1947, in Athens to Ollis and Rachael Kirk.

After graduating from her beloved Athens High School where she was proudly crowned homecoming queen, she followed her sister’s family out to the Wild West making Oklahoma her home in 1971. She began her dream job shortly thereafter as a flight attendant for Braniff Airlines and moved to Dallas.

In 1972, Jayne met and married Gary C. Johnston and returned to Oklahoma City. During their marriage, Gary and Jayne grew a business and friendships all over the United States and Canada. In the 1980s, Jayne and Gary’s adventures in Canada yielded them dear friendships and opportunities in business never forgotten.

Jayne loved traveling, cooking, entertaining friends and family, and gardening. She was able to show her love for others through her amazing cooking, drawing so many families together and feeding them delicious gourmet meals. Jayne even published a cookbook that included her own favorite recipes and recipes of others for dear friends and family.  Her garden was full of fresh vegetables and herbs that she loved to cook with in the summers. She anxiously waited spring each year to see her favorite daffodils bloom in the hundreds out their window.

Jayne is survived by her beloved husband, Gary; son, Doug Johnston and wife Shelly, their children Jesse and Megan; son, Jay Johnston and wife Kristi, their children Brian, Mary Claire and Charlie; son, Craig Johnston and wife Erin, their children Luke, Henry and Edward; sister, Bettye Williams; sister-in-law, Dee Hessel; nieces, Benita Bake, Teri Williams, Ashley Duncan; and nephew, Phil Hessel.

All that loved her will miss her humor, wit, generosity, and beautiful blue eyes.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 2717 W. Hefner Road in Oklahoma City.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to the charity of your choice.

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