Cover photo for Marshall Clifton Johnston's Obituary
Marshall Clifton Johnston Profile Photo
1943 Marshall 2021

Marshall Clifton Johnston

January 23, 1943 — March 12, 2021

Marshall C. Johnston, 78, of North Salem, passed away at his home 10:00 AM Friday March 12, 2021 with his family at his side. 

Marshall was born January 23, 1943 in Indianapolis IN, the son of Earl Atwell and Mary (McElwee) Johnston; his father died while Marshall was very young and he was raised by his mother and her second husband Owen Woody. He married Sonnie Keeling May 31, 1969 in Veedersburg IN.

Surviving family include his wife, Sonnie Johnston, North Salem, IN; a son, Brett (Grace) Johnston,Tangier IN; a daughter, Marchel (Troy) French, Waynetown IN; a brother John (Bekki) Johnston, Marion IN; a sister in law, Sharon Johnston, Bloomingdale, IN; nine grandchildren: Brittney (Cory) Bannister, Jamie (Josh) Martin, Gavin Johnston, Colby Johnston, Easton (Becca) French, Chase (Hannah) French, Ally (Lukas) Smith, and Jason (Amber) Chittenden and several great-grandchildren. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Earl Johnston, and a granddaughter Taylor Marshell Johnston.

Marshall graduated from Turkey Run High School in 1961. He served his country in the US Army during the Vietnam War; he began his enlistment at Ft Knox KY before being transferred to Vietnam. He was employed at Allison Transmission in Indianapolis for 48 years prior to his retirement. 

He enjoyed working on his farm and tending to his garden, and he enjoyed riding his four-wheeler around the farm. He had received salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

He was graced with the most amazing story telling abilities. Many of his stories included his brothers, his mother, cousins, and friends; and many of his stories began with “There was this ole boy…”

Marshall loved his wife, his family and his grandchildren. He embodied the role of provider to the fullest. He was always going above and beyond the simple definition of a provider, from the very start of his family to his last days, he always put his family’s needs above his own. 

As a father, he will be remembered as being tough as nails, quick with wit, and blessed with a wealth of knowledge.  He was a great husband to Sonnie for over 51 years. Marshall will also be remembered as exceeding the limits when it came to being a Pappy to his nine grandchildren; the amount of time, love, and wisdom he poured into his grandchildren was nothing short of amazing. His life was a blessing to them and he will be missed beyond words. 

A private family service will be held at Dickerson Funeral Home in Veedersburg IN, with Pastor Gary Johnson officiating. Memorial contributions may be given to Wheeler Mission in Indianapolis. Online condolences at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marshall Clifton Johnston, please visit our flower store.


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