Cover photo for William John "Jack" Johnston's Obituary
William John "Jack" Johnston Profile Photo
1938 William 2019

William John "Jack" Johnston

September 9, 1938 — August 8, 2019

On Thursday, August 8, 2019, Jack passed away at the Portage District General Hospital at the age of 80 years after a hard fought battle with lung cancer.

Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife Jytte of Portage la Prairie; daughter Enid Sweeney (fiancé David Masse) of Starbuck and granddaughters Kelsey and Sydney of Portage la Prairie; daughter Paula Johnston and grandson Ty of Winnipeg; daughter Leah Hyrsak (Darron) and grandchildren Rachel and Bryce of Brandon; and son Thomas Johnston of Winnipeg.  Jack also leaves behind his sister Maxine Kehler of Calgary; brother in law Rene Ammann of Winnipeg; sister in law Susanne Johnston of Portage; grandchildren Cole and Sydney Lindblom and their mother Colleen of Winnipeg; aunts Norma Wiebe, Lola Wiebe, Marg (Clarence) McIntyre; along with the Hellesoe family including numerous nieces, nephews, cousins.  He was predeceased by his parents Sam and Emma Johnston; sister Sandra Ammann; brother Brian Johnston and parents in law Hans and Inga Hellesoe.

Jack was born September 9, 1938 in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.  He received his early education at Longburn School and later attended high school in McDonald.  As a young man, Jack worked on the family farm in Longburn leaving in 1959 to begin a job driving truck for Portage Cartage and Storage.  It was during this time that he met Jytte and they were married in 1964 making their home in Portage.   The years that followed provided their four children, certification in welding, as a millwright and building maintenance and a number of job experiences working at the Concrete Plant, Gray’s Welding, Phillips Cable, Public Works Canada at the Post Office, Westward Industries and the Douglas Campbell Lodge in the maintenance department

Jack was able to share his time and talents with in involvement with the Boy Scouts of Canada, 11 years as a volunteer fire fighter, Trinity United Church, Portage Youth Soccer, First Baptist Church and Oddfellows Lodge #3.  In his spare time he made many fond memories fishing and camping with his family (including many long epic summer road trips) and friends, gardening, building model airplanes and spending time in the dream garage only he could have built.  He will be fondly remembered for his ability to fix any and all things in addition to his bread baking skills, tremendous work ethic, generosity of time and spirit and unconditional love and support of his family.

Jack’s funeral service will be held on Saturday, August 17, 2019 at 11:00 am at Glesby Centre, 11 – 2 Street NE Portage la Prairie, with Pastor Kevin Trembley and Mr. Cecil Brown officiating.  Interment will follow at Longburn Cemetery.

The family wish to thank Dr. Price, Dr. Tan, Dr. Paul, Dr. Bashir, emergency, medical and surgical staff for their excellent care and compassion for the duration of his illness.

If desired, expressions of sympathy can be made with donations in Jack’s memory to the CNIB Foundation, 1080 Portage Avenue Winnipeg MB R3G 3M3, the Children’s Hospital Research Foundation, 501-840 Sherbrook St, Winnipeg, MB R3A 1S1, the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba, 1379 Kenaston Boulevard Winnipeg, MB R3P 2T5 or the Central Plains Cancer Services, 318 Saskatchewan Ave, Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0K8.

A tree will be planted and cared for in memory of Jack by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel who are in care of arrangements and can be contacted at 204-857-4021 or

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William John "Jack" Johnston, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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