Grace (Cameron) Johnston
Grace (Cameron) Johnston, 93, of Belfast, Maine, passed away early Monday morning, March 3, 2014. Originally from Gloucester, Mass., Grace was the last surviving child of Andrew Angus and Adeline Martha (Blackburn) Cameron’s 13 children. She was married to William (Bill) F. Johnston, (b. 1910, d. 1998). Grace was an accomplished and award winning artist, having studied with Don Stone at the Monhegan Island Artists Colony. Don noted how exceptional Grace rendered clouds in her paintings, and often referred other students to her work during her time on Monhegan. Grace also studied for years with Paul E. Goodridge in Peabody, Mass. Grace was responsible for the artwork at the Christ Child Nursery in Lynn, Mass., where she was employed for over 14 years working in early childhood education. She and her husband, Bill, retired to Rumford Point, Maine, in 1977 from Lynn, Mass. Grace ran her own art studio, the 1826 Gallery, where she sold her paintings and offered classes. She was an avid outdoors woman, learning alpine skiing at age 55, ascending New Hampshire’s Mount Washington for the first time at age 71, and cross-country skiing behind her home in Rumford Point well into her eighties. Grace lived up to her name: she was one of the most gentle, kind, and optimistic individuals you could ever meet. She was a consummate letter-writer. Her long handwritten letters espousing on the mysteries of life and god, with the occasional stern reprimand thrown in for good measure, are a Cameron family institution.
Grace is survived by her three children, Karen Wagner, of Camden, Maine, William Johnston, of Lamoine, Maine, and James Johnston and his wife Michelle, of Bryant Pond, Maine; her two daughters-in-law, Kathy Johnston and Linda Johnston; her eight grandchildren, Kim, Liz, Matt, Keith, Greg, Heather, Jeff and Kevin, and her twelve great-grandchildren, Evan, Gwenivere, Samuel, Grace, Brianna, Cameron, Corinna, Lucien, Sienna, William, Amelia and Ayla Grace.
A memorial service will be held at the Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave, Belfast, Maine (Route 137), on Saturday, March 15, at 1 p.m. An internment service will be held in Rumford Point, Maine, in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Grace’s honor to two organizations that champion Grace’s most cherished activities, hiking and painting: The Appalachian Mountain Club, 5 Joy Street, Boston, Mass. 02108, or www.outdoors.org; and the Farnsworth Art Museum, 16 Museum St., Rockland, Maine 04841, or farnsworthmuseum.org.