Loyd “Ace” Aarne Johnston

February 3, 1948- March 11, 2022

Loyd “Ace” Aarne Johnston passed away March 11, 2022, at the age of 74, after a battle with heart failure. Ace’s deep love of life gave him the strength to persevere over several life challenges and instilled him with hope and courage to the end. A beloved husband, dad, “Pop” as he was called by his daughter and grandchildren, friend, and “legendary” fisherman, he is missed and cherished.

Born February 3, 1948, to Evelyn (Corbett) Johnston and Loyd G. Johnston in Southgate, CA, Ace was the second of four children. He was nicknamed “AJ” and “Ace” as a young child. In 1958, the family moved from Paramount to Casita Springs where his folks had purchased a service station. At age 11, he began pumping gas and doing mechanic work at the service station, building a foundation for his strong work ethic. His love for fishing also began early, when he joined his dad and Uncle Bill to fish off Catalina Island, and later would fish off the pier with his brother, John, in Ventura, CA.

At age 15, Ace moved in with family friends Sandy and Glade “Jim” Hull, who were moving to northern California, in Lagunitas-Forest Knolls. This move likely saved his life. At 16, he developed Hodgkin’s disease. Through a series of serendipitous events, Ace entered a research study at Stanford University, where he was successfully treated with radiation.

At age 18, he followed his folks to Forks, WA, to complete high school. He worked nights, learning to saw shakes while finishing high school in 1966. During his early years in Forks, he worked in the woods setting chokers, and at several cedar mills as a shake sawyer. He met his first wife, Laurie (Eaton) Anderson, and married in 1968. During their four years of marriage, they had a son, James “Jim” Dennis, in 1969, and moved into his home in Beaver where he would live the rest of his days.

Ace and Lynda (Darnell), wife of 45 years, married in 1976. The following year, they had their daughter, Lacey Sophiann (Johnston) Gentry, who he fondly called “Sugar”. Determined to get ahead, he partnered with Bill Darnell, his father-in-law, to open a cedar shake and shingle mill, Sunshine Shake, in Sappho, WA. It operated for around 25 years and employed many people before being sold.

Never one to be idle, Ace switched gears and began driving log trucks in 2001. “Retirement” was not in his vocabulary. His competitive side, along with the camaraderie he enjoyed with the “guys”, kept him trucking until fall 2021.

Community was important to Ace. He joined the Beaver Fire Department in 1969, becoming Chief shortly afterward- a position he held for over 30 years. He was a charter member of the Forks Elks Lodge and also a member of the Red Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau. He assisted with the construction of the playground at Lake Pleasant Community Park and was involved in creating and maintaining the baseball fields in Beaver.

Ace’s favorite time of year was fishing season. He spent countless hours preparing the boat, plotting the hottest fishing spots, and monitoring the water reports. He loved being on the water while enjoying the companionship of family and friends.

Ace enjoyed traveling. His family has many happy memories of trips they have taken together. Summer vacations were always something he looked forward to. Hawaii was his favorite.

Ace’s legacy is the pride and love he had for his family, children, and grandchildren. He was a generous and kind man, who was dedicated to his family and community. Ace was deeply grateful for the gifts he had been given in his life, most of all his family and friends.

Loved ones that will miss a husband, father, brother, and “Pop” until they meet again: Loving wife, Lynda (Darnell) Johnston, his son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Michelle Johnston, daughter and son-in-law, Lacey and Ben Gentry, grandchildren, Sara (16) and Lane Wilson (13), and Everly Rose Gentry (3), sisters Janet Jenkins and Deborah and (Tom) Scott, and brother John and (Stephane) Johnston. Further survived by newly found sister Donna and (Don) Wright.

A celebration of life is being held Saturday, April 16, 2022, at 3 p.m., at 77 Lake Pleasant Park Road in Beaver.

The water is flat, the fish are biting….gone fishing