Virgil Carlyle Johnston

22 January 1925 - 14 February 2022

Under: Obituary

Virgil Carlyle Johnston of North Charleston passed away on February 14, 2022. He was born on January 22, 1925 in Charleston, South Carolina. He was the son of the late Steven A. and Levina Flickner Johnston.

Mr. Johnston loved his hometown of Charleston. He attended Bennett Elementary and was attending Murray Vocational High School when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. He attempted to enlist in the United States Marine Corps at age 16 but was told to come back after he turned 17. With his mother's signature, he joined the Marines in the spring of 1942. After completing Boot Camp at Parris Island, he was assigned to his unit which transited to Camp Pendleton, CA, for deployment to the South Pacific. His unit was transported by Liberty ship to New Zealand in early 1943 to prepare for the assault on the Solomon Islands. In June of 1943, his unit moved on to Guadalcanal. Mr. Johnston was aboard Assault Boat 62 on November 1, 1943, at the Battle of Bougainville. His landing craft was hit by direct enemy fire during the assault, and everyone was ordered over the side to swim ashore. He received wounds in the assault and during the battle that ensued until December 24, 1943. Sergeant Johnston was awarded a Purple Heart and was evacuated to Washington, DC, in 1944 to recover and serve as a sentry at various buildings in the area. He was reassigned to Camp Lejeune in late 1944 and was preparing to return to the Pacific Theater when the war ended in 1945. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in late 1945. He continued serving his country as a Major in the South Carolina State Guard. Returning to Charleston, he completed an internship at the Charleston Naval Shipyard. In 1949, he attended The Citadel as a veteran student majoring in Civil Engineering. He graduated in 1953. In 1949, his future wife, Ruth Vickery, entered his life, and they were married on September 5, 1951. William Carlyle "Will" Johnston was born on August 28, 1952.

After graduating from The Citadel, Mr. Johnston accepted a job with ARAMCO in Atlanta, Georgia. On March 12, 1954, George Michael "Mike" Johnston was born. The family returned to Charleston in late 1954 when Mr. Johnston returned to the Charleston Naval Shipyard. He progressed through a series of jobs of increasing responsibility and authority. He earned his Professional Engineering License in 1965. He was selected as the Chief Planner and Estimator at the CNSYD and served in that capacity for over 14 years. He retired from civil service in 1981 with over 33 years of service earning the Meritorious Civilian Service award. He soon accepted a job with Rosenblatt and Sons and continued to work for another 19 years. Throughout this time, he continued to support his family as a certified surveyor and architect. He enjoyed running and often placed in his age category in the Cooper River Bridge Run.

Mr. Johnston was extremely active as a founding member of the North Charleston Methodist Church. He and Ruth taught Sunday school, served in leadership roles in the church, and cherished their church family throughout the years.

Mr. Johnston was also a faithful supporter of all things associated with The Citadel. He always said, "Those Bulldogs are mine, win or lose." He was a lifetime member of The Citadel Alumni Association, annual supporter of The Citadel Foundation, and The Citadel Brigadier Club. Mr. Johnston was involved in numerous other activities including the National Society of Professional Engineering. He served on the City of North Charleston's Board of Zoning Adjustments. In 1995, he was appointed to the Charleston Naval Shipyard Redevelopment Authority (RDA) to plan for the closure of the Shipyard and lay the groundwork for future use of the facilities.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three brothers, Grover Johnston, J.D. Johnston, Arthur Johnston and one sister, Edna J. Myers. Surviving is his wife and constant companion of 70 years of marriage, Ruth Vickery Johnston. Two sons, COL William C. "Will" Johnston, United States Army, Retired and his wife, Fran of Hanahan, and George Michael "Mike" Johnston, C.P.A., and his wife, Donna of Mt. Pleasant. Six grandchildren, Mary Beth Johnston, Christopher Johnston (Charlotte), Thomas Johnston, Adam Johnston, Lily Johnston, and Georgia Johnston. A host of nephews and nieces that includes Joan Myers Inabinette. Visitation will be on Sunday, February 20, 2022, at 1 p.m. at the Carolina Memorial Funeral Home, 7113 Rivers Ave., North Charleston.

A Life Well Celebrated Service will follow at 2 p.m. at the funeral home chapel, then burial at Carolina Memorial Park. The family has asked that everyone attending to wear a mask. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the North Charleston United Methodist Church, 1125 East Montague Avenue, North Charleston, SC 29405.

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