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Velma Jean (Abernethy) Johnston

January 17, 1941 ~ April 11, 2018 (age 77)

Velma Jean Abernethy Johnston, age 77 of Forest City died Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at Rutherford Regional Medical Center.  She was born January 7, 1941 in Gaston County and was a daughter of the late Jack Vernon and Vilanta Jackson Abernethy.  She was a retired Psychiatric Nurse having worked in numerous hospitals including Huntsville Hospital. 


She was a member of Advent Lutheran Church in Spindale and a graduate of Belmont High School Class of 1959.  Velma continued her education at Lees McRae College graduating in 1961, and then on to Medical Technician School at Charlotte Memorial Hospital in 1962,  She later received her BA degree from UNC-Asheville in 1980 and finally her Master's Degree from Western Carolina University in 1983.


Survivors include her husband, Roy Lee Johnston, a  son, Halbert Johnston and wife Amanda of Dahlonega, GA, a daughter, Catharine Kemick and husband Butch of Rutherfordton, as well as 6 grandchildren, a brother and two sisters.


A graveside service will be held at 3 o'clock Friday, April 13, 2018 at Gaston Memorial Park with Pastor David Hinkleman officiating.  The family will greet family and friends following the service at the cemetery.  The family will also hold a memorial service at 2:30 o'clock Sunday, April 15, 2018 at the Advent Lutheran Church in Spindale.  


Memorials may be made to Advent Lutheran Church, 118 Revely Street, Spindale,  North Carolina 28160.  The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at

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