Miriam Lary Johnston, 93: Active in community, devoted to Red Sox and Pats

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GORHAM — Miriam Lary Johnston, 93, a longtime resident of Gorham, died April 18.

She was born in Arlington, Massachusetts, on Feb. 13, 1921, the daughter of Stanley C. Lary and Theo Wilson Lary. She was raised in West Medford, Massachusetts, and attended Medford Public Schools. She graduated from Skidmore College with a degree in sociology. After college, she worked in New York City as a social worker.

She married her husband, John L. Johnston, in 1946 and raised three children, first in Chatham, New Jersey, and then in Old Greenwich, Connecticut, where they lived for 25 years.

While living in Old Greenwich, she was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, serving on the vestry, as a much-loved Sunday school and preschool teacher, and in other leadership and volunteer roles. She was involved with the local Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters, the PTA and the Old Greenwich-Riverside Community Center. She also served as a Cub Scout leader and volunteered at Greenwich Hospital.

She and her husband retired to Maine in 1977, moving to Gorham in the house that had been her mother’s home. She was a longtime volunteer at Maine Medical Center in the special care unit, where she sat at the front desk. She was a member of the White Rock Improvement League for many years, where she served as an officer. She was a devoted parishioner of St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in Windham for more than 35 years, where she served in multiple leadership and volunteer roles.

During the segment of the church service dedicated to parishioners offering news or blessings of the day, she was famous for her regular cheer of “go Sox” or “go Pats.”

She was proud of her Maine roots, her father having been born in Dexter and her mother in Gorham. An avid sports fan, she was devoted especially to the Red Sox and the Patriots.

Throughout her life and wherever she lived, she formed strong friendships and was universally loved. She was a good listener, and gave people the benefit of the doubt.

She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 59 years, John L. Johnston, in 2005.

She is survived by her daughter, Sarah Johnston and husband, John Desrochers; two sons, David L. Johnston and William H. Johnston and wife, Rosita L. Moore, of Pownal; three grandchildren, Elizabeth Koors and husband, Paul Koors, Lily Moore Johnston and Finn Johnston, of Pownal; two great-grandchildren, Ellie and James Koors; cousin, Abigail Sanborn and her husband, Scott Balcomb, and their daughters, Theo and Hallie.

It was Sanborn and Balcomb, as well as a network of other friends and family members, who provided loving care and support, allowing her to fulfill her dream of living at home independently.

The family would like to thank Dr. Jeffrey Rosenblatt and Dr. Fred Emerson for the excellent care that they gave her. The family is also appreciative of her care for many years by the late Dr. Paul Bonjour.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, 40 Windham Center Road, Windham, ME 04062.

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