Surrounded by her family at her bedside, Linda passed away peacefully at UC Health in Loveland at the age of 66 last Saturday evening. Linda was born June 8, 1953 in Horton, Kansas to Norman Dean Smith and Jerri Ethel Frump.
She grew up in that area and learned her work ethic from working in the fields with her grandparents. After graduating high school, she worked as an LPN prior to meeting the love her life, Harry Johnston in 1980. While Linda was managing the Country Bar and Restaurant in North Platte, Nebraska, she had the responsibility of booking musical entertainment. Harry was playing in a band and he immediately took a shine to the beautiful and sassy bar manager. Initially, Linda had little interest in Harry, as she had lots of prospects vying for her attention. Harry persisted in asking Linda why she wouldn’t go out with him. She responded with “why should I go out with you, when you’re just a Rodeo Clown?” Linda eventually succumb to Harry’s pursuits and married her Rodeo Clown on October 23, 1989 in Greeley, Colorado. Linda was the Office Manager and ran two used car lots while Harry went around the country buying cars for their locations in Greeley and Fort Collins and then she ultimately became a homemaker.
The most important facet to Linda’s life was her family, and she selflessly dedicated herself to raising 11 children and adoring 10 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. In addition to her family, Linda loved Mickey Mouse and visiting Disney where she would fit right in as one of the kids. On one of the many cruises that she and Harry enjoyed, Linda met a Walt Disney animator who drew and autographed for her an original sketch of Donald Duck – one of her prize possessions. Linda also spared no expense when it came to decorating for and celebrating Christmas, and her home was appointed beautifully and admired by many friends and relatives celebrating the holiday season.
Beyond her family, oldies music, traveling and enjoying Disney, Linda was also a member of the Longmont Moose Lodge #1548 Women of the Moose. At the time of her passing, Linda was the First Lady of the Loyal Order of Moose and accompanied Harry around the country as he serves as the Supreme Governor of Moose International. Linda was extremely proud of Harry and the position of Supreme Governor of the Moose which he earned and so richly deserved by virtue of his years of dedicated service to the fraternal organization. Linda liked being unique, and she certainly was one of kind. During their Moose travels, Harry often felt that many of the members liked Linda more than they liked him, and Harry was perfectly fine with that. You always knew where you stood with Linda, and although her family felt she often led with an iron fist, she was constantly teaching and challenging them to be better people and loving and protecting them like none other. Although she will be missed in her physical form, we will always think of her when eating a Little Debbie’s cupcake, a piece of cherry pie or enjoying a diet Dr. Pepper or chocolate milk shake.
In addition to her husband Harry, Linda is survived by immediate family: sons Ed Molt (wife Cindy, daughters, Savanna McAffee and husband Damien, daughter Piper, daughters Molly and Maggie) of Fairview, Kansas; Darrin Molt (wife Traci, children Taylor and Delaine) of Horton, Kansas; Johnny Johnston (girlfriend Randi Timmons) of Greeley, Colorado; Kendrick Johnston, Conrad Johnston, Harrison Johnston of Greeley, Colorado and daughters Cindy Hughes (daughter Zara); Jennifer Johnston (boyfriend Antonio Archuleta, children Joey, Benny, Skyla, Lilly); Joylnn (boyfriend Justin Volz); Mary Johnston; and Maddilynd Johnston, all of Greeley, Colorado. In addition, Linda is also survived by 3 sisters and 1 brother and a loving extended family of friends across the country.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made in Linda’s memory to either the Loyal Order of Moose Charities at http://www.moosecharities.org or the Harmony House at http:// harmonyfoundationinc.com for substance abuse/addiction.
The family will hold a private Celebration of Linda’s life. Additionally, the family will host an Open House on Friday, June 21st at 4 PM at the Johnston home at 7412 Poudre River Road in Greeley where they will gladly receive friends and share memories of Linda’s life.