Alex “Cotton” Johnston, 96, of Homer City, passed away peacefully on January 8, 2021 at Indiana Regional Medical Center. He was born on May 21, 1924, in Derry, PA, the son of Alex Johnston, Sr. and Emma (Long) Johnston. Alex graduated from Homer City High School in 1942, and was drafted into military service during World War II. He served his country as a radio signal operator with the U.S. Army, stationed in Europe. Following his honorable discharge from military service in 1945, Alex met and married Marcella (Mal) J. Dallara in 1946, and began a career driving trucks, hauling coal, along with his father. Together Cotton and Mal had two sons, Terry married to Georgette (Voytek) Johnston, and David, married to Karen (Lambert) Johnston.
In 1966, Cotton and Mal built a Dairy Queen store in Northern Cambria, PA, and owned and operated it until 1988, at which time they sold it and retired. Cotton enjoyed socializing with his many friends and going to his “camp” in Sinnemahoning, Cameron County, where he spent many happy weekends. He especially enjoyed taking thousands of Easter Eggs from the Homer City United Methodist Church and distributing them to hundreds of customers in Cameron and Potter Counties. Cotton was a lifelong member of the Homer City American Legion, the Blairsville VFW, and belonged to Redbarn Sportsmen’s Club, and Sinnemahoning and May Hollow Sportsmen’s Clubs in Cameron County. He was an avid pool player and loved to shoot pool everywhere he went. These trips to “camp” are all documented in the log books that he wrote in during every trip.
Cotton is survived by his wife, Marcella of Homer City, and his two sons, Terry and wife Georgette of Penn Run, PA, and David and wife Karen of Gaithersburg, MD. He is also survived by grandchildren, Brian Johnston and wife Julie Sando of Hemet, CA, Brett Johnston and partner Rachael Piccione of Martinsburg, PA, Kimberly Johnston of Baltimore, MD, Katherine Johnston and partner Danny Wyman of Gaithersburg, MD, Shawn Johnston and wife Samantha (Karis) of Monrovia, MD, and Emma Johnston of Gaithersburg, MD. Also surviving him are great grandchildren, Olivia Johnston and Natalie Robinson of Baltimore, MD, and Madeline Johnston of Monrovia, MD, along with numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant son, James, and an adopted brother, Dale Johnston of Derry, PA..
Due to the current pandemic, there will be no visitation. A private graveside ceremony will take place at the convenience of the family with interment at Oakland Cemetery, Indiana, PA.
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