May 4, 1921 – September 21, 2017
Phillip Johnstone died early Wednesday morning, Sept. 21, 2017, at his home in Pontotoc. He was 96 years old.
Charles Phillip Johnstone was born in Amory, Mississippi, on May 4, 1921, to W.H. and Nettie Johnstone. He grew up in Pontotoc and graduated from Pontotoc High School. A combat veteran of World War II, he served with the 15th Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Corps in North Africa and Italy. He attended annual reunions of his squadron up until a few years ago.
After the war, Phillip worked as a civilian for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, then for the Internal Revenue Service, first in Tupelo and then in Greenville, MS, where he met his wife, Rachel Weed. In 1957, the Johnstones moved to Pontotoc, where they raised their three children. Phillip worked as office manager for Pontotoc Electric Power Association until retirement in 1986.
Having played baseball for Pontotoc American Legion Phillip developed a life-long passion for the game. He was an avid follower of Ole Miss sports and loved watching their football, basketball, and baseball games.
Services will be held at 11 AM on Monday, September 25, 2017, at Browning Funeral Home, with Rev. Kenneth Corley officiating. Graveside services will be at Pontotoc Memorial Gardens. Browning Funeral Home of Pontotoc is in charge of arrangements.
Phillip Johnstone is survived by three children, Julia Johnstone Hogue (Jim), James Phillip Johnstone (Susan), Beth Johnstone Anderson (David), nine grandchildren, Jason Hogue, Ethan Hogue (Catherine), Leslie Hilliard (Bill), Colin Johnstone, Evan Anderson, Reid Anderson, Kyle Anderson, Michael Johnson (Sheila), David Richardson III (Patricia), and four great grandchildren, Lane Johnson, Maggie Johnson, Lily Hilliard, and Kate Hilliard. Additionally, he is survived by a host of nieces and nephews who will all miss their “Uncle Oop.”
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, a sister, Elizabeth Loonan, and two brothers, Kenneth Johnstone and Jack Johnstone.
Phillip’s grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
Honorary pallbearers are Judge Charles Thomas and Billy Roberson.
Visitation will be in the Browning Funeral Home Chapel on Sunday September 24, 2017, from 5:00PM to 7:00 PM.
EDITOR’S NOTE: My friend (also my wife’s uncle) Phillip Johnstone died early on the morning of September 21st at his home in Pontotoc. He was 96 years old and was a veteran of service in the U.S. Army Air Corps in North Africa and Italy during World War II. With help from his daughter, Beth, and his son, Jim, he lived independently in his own house in Pontotoc until his departure. Because obituaries seldom impart much about the “real” person, and because so few living WWII veterans remain, those who knew Phillip may wish to read our 2016 Veterans’ Day article, in which he is featured.