ORVILLE MASON JOHNSTON
Orville Mason Johnston was born November 4, 1925 to Fred and Ruth Johnston in Jasper, MO. He was the fifth child of seven children. His father, a farmer, moved his family to Salida when Orville was a teenager. Orville graduated from Modesto High School in 1943. After high school he joined the Navy and worked as a radioman. After his military service he worked in southern CA for J.J Newberry. Visiting a friend from Denair he met his future wife Carmen. Orville worked at a grocery store in Denair before moving to Escalon in 1952 where he and his wife bought Peterson’s variety store on Main Street in Escalon. He and Carmen moved the variety store and added clothing and shoes to the business a couple of years later. Every Easter at the variety store Orville would take orders from parents and write the name of their child on a chocolate bunny as requested. He had really good handwriting and it was part of his customer service which was very important to him. He and his wife opened a dress shop (Cindy’s Apparel) and later a men’s clothing store (Town and Country). He was grateful for the employees that worked for them at the stores and continued friendships made in Escalon through all the years.
He enjoyed being part of the community, Escalon chamber of commerce, Escalon Kiwanis Club, being a Sunday school teacher and active in the church.
After leaving retail he began selling life insurance and later he opened an insurance agency in Modesto. After retiring he worked as a courier for a few years. He enjoyed doing volunteer work and helping people. He had a loving and giving heart for his family, his friends and those he met.
No longer here but forever in our hearts.
The Escalon (Calif.) Times
Aug. 4, 2021