Cover photo for Randall Andrew Johnston's Obituary
Randall Andrew Johnston Profile Photo
1931 Randall 2015

Randall Andrew Johnston

March 9, 1931 — June 26, 2015

Randall Andrew Johnston, 84, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away June 26th, 2015, in Redlands. He was born in Duncan, Oklahoma, in 1931 and after working his way through school as a printer he became a pilot. His first solo flight was in 1952, and retired as a Colonel from the Air Force after nearly 27 years of service. He is survived by his wife, Athene; his sister, Peggy; his sons Stephen (Judy), David (Susan), and Philip (Lisa); his daughter Sydney Blue Morello (Daniel); his grandchildren Mark, Marisa, Tegan, Ian, Brock, Gillian, Katie and Mackenzie; and his great-grandchildren Nalani, Caleb, Chloe and Gabriel. He was preceded in death by his mother and father and his grandson Luke. Randall and Athene met in San Antonio, Texas. Athene was a 1st Lieutenant and Occupational Therapist in the Army, and Randy was a newly minted 2nd Lieutenant flyer in the Air Force. (So yes, she out-ranked him initially:-) At a prayer meeting at First Baptist Church, Randall asked another LT, "Who is that over there?" The LT answered, "That's Lt Cook. Would you like to meet her?" This was the beginning of their 59 years of married life. During his military service, Randall logged over 7,000 hours flying the PA-18, T-6, T-28, B-25, B-26, C-47, T-33, B-57, B-66B, RB-66B, RB-66C, RB-57A, C-130E, C-141, C-5, U-3A, C-118 and RC-135 aircraft. He continued to actively fly after retiring and accumulated over 20,000 hours total time. When he was with the 95th Bomb Squadron, 17th Bomb Wing at K-9, Pusan, Korea, in 1954, and a member of the Emergency War Plan Atomic Response Force, his pilot's charter was to "Complete the Mission or Die Trying." This drive for excellence, perfection and non-acceptance of anything less, had a lasting impact on his career and life. His last assignment was Commander of the 60th Aerial Port Squadron (APS) at Travis AFB, CA. Previous assignments included: 63rd APS Commander at Norton AFB, CA, Chief, Support operations Branch, 13AF Clark AB, RP, Staff officer 7th AF, Udorn Royal Thai AFB, Thailand, and his first command, the 1st Aerial Cartographic and Geodetic Squadron, Forbes AFB, KS. To show how quick and decisive Randall was, he and Athene were in Scotland because Athene's father had gone to be with our Lord and Savior when Randall received a call from his boss. "Hello Randy - how would you like to have a squadron?'" Randall answered, "Does it have airplanes?" The answer: "Yes, but I don't know how many or what kind." Randall's response, "I'll take it!" And that's how he got his first command! After retiring from active duty, Randall transitioned to flying commercial cargo aircraft, flying the DC-10, then, in contrast, a few years later, he started an oil pipeline patrol business, first flying a PA-18 Super Cub and then a Cessna 182, eventually teaching all of his kids how to fly, and in fact, training three of them to fly the pipeline. He even taught some of his grandchildren to fly, passing on his legacy of the love of flying. Randall thoroughly enjoyed all of the family, friends and experiences God placed in his life. Visitation for friends will be Thursday from 3pm - 6pm at Emmerson Bartlett Memorial Chapel, Redlands. Services will be held Friday, July 3 rd at 10 a.m. at 1 st Congregational Church. 2 West Olive St., Redlands, CA., with burial to follow at Riverside National Cemetery at 12:45 p.m.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, July 2, 2015

3:00 - 6:00 pm (Pacific time)

Emmerson Bartlett Memorial Chapel

35208 Yucaipa Boulevard, Yucaipa, CA 92399

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Church Service

Friday, July 3, 2015

Starts at 10:00 am (Pacific time)

First Congregational Church

2 West Olive Avenue, Redlands, CA 92373

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Committal with Air Force Honors

Friday, July 3, 2015

Starts at 12:45 pm (Pacific time)

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