Obituary of Delia Johnston
October 11, 1928 - August 9, 2017
The family and friends of Delia are saddened to announce her death. She died as she lived, on her own terms and surrounded by her family and friends. Delia was born and spent her childhood in Netherhill, SK, the fourth child of William Bourne, an immigrant from Ireland, and Elsie Panting, a WWI Red Cross Nursing Sister and war bride. Delia remained proud of her Irish heritage, and followed in her mother’s footsteps into nursing, finishing her nurses’ training at Saskatoon City Hospital in 1949. Her early work on the neurosurgical ward instilled a life-long fascination with medicine and the function of the brain. It was at SCH that she met her first husband, Edward Andres, with whom she had three daughters. After Ed’s death in 1967, she met Lloyd Johnston and married him in 1971. She then moved from Saskatoon to Regina, forming many new friendships to add to those in Saskatoon. With the blending of two families, the number of daughters grew from three to five, and then to six with the arrival of an immigrant doctor-in-training from Indonesia. Delia and Lloyd’s extensive travels expanded their network of friends; maintaining all these relationships was a very important part of Delia’s life. Delia provided dedicated care to her mother, her sisters and both husbands throughout their illnesses and deaths. As the last of her generation, she maintained a keen interest in her nieces and nephews. Delia always fostered a sense of independence and self-reliance in her children as well as appreciation for art, literature and diversity of culture and experience. She is survived by Deirdre Andres and her children Andrea East (Chris Reddeman; Claire, Audrey and Lydia) and Liam East; Patti Bolen and her husband Bernie, her children Jeffrey (Diane), Robert (Brooke) and Elsa (JP); Kit Loewen and her husband Allen, her children Mairin (Will Robbins; Asa) and, Alexander (Kendra Morrow). Delia is also survived by Lita and Stephen Mathai (Prem, Sathyan and Anand), Sandra O’Neill (Gerry) and Sharon Johnston, numerous nieces and nephews, and many devoted friends. At Delia’s request, no memorial service will be held but friends are requested to honour her memory with a “glass of bubbly”. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. The family would also like to extend thanks to the physicians at the Academic Family Medicine Unit for their care over the years, to the nurses at Palliative Home Care, and the care providers who came regularly over the last days and weeks. In particular, we would also like to thank Shannon for her care and attention to mom’s needs. We are grateful to all those who sent food and other supports for the family during her last days.