Everett H. Johnston
Everett Holmes Johnston of Williamsburg, affectionately known as “Pop Ebby,” passed away on August 2, 2012 at the age of 90. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, Laura and Ralph Johnston; three brothers, Ralph Jr., Calvin and Bobby; and an infant daughter, Laura Ann.
Everett grew up in Williamsburg and spent many summers in Deltaville. He graduated from Mathew Whaley in 1940, enlisting in the U.S. Navy shortly after.
During WWII, he was assigned to the USS St. Louis, which was the only major warship to get under way and reach the open sea on December 7, 1941 during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Multiple failed attempts to sink the St. Louis earned the ship the nickname “Lucky Lou.” Everett served on many ships during his 21 years of active duty, and had the honor of being a member of the US Naval Rifle and Pistol teams from 1959 through 1961. He retired from active duty as a Chief Gunners Mate and continued as a civil servant for 14 years at the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station.
After retirement, “Pop” traded his rifle and pistol for a fishing pole and gardening hoe, growing blue-ribbon tomatoes said to be “better than a Hanover,” and catching more fish than anybody wanted to clean.
Everett was a member of VFW Post 4639, American Legion, and Pearl Harbor Survivor Association. As the ranks of the association started to dwindle, Everett’s unyielding support for comrades and direct approach to fundraising were the driving force for the installation of The Pearl Harbor Memorial at the Virginia War Museum in Newport News.
He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Louis Johnston; his children, Everett, Richard, Judy and Andrew; his grandchildren, Rhodes, Ray, Staton, Tyler, Dylan and Braden; and his great-grandchildren, Tyler, Lilian, Severe and Avery.
A memorial service was held Tuesday, August 7, at Nelson Funeral Home, Williamsburg. A dutiful son, loyal friend and brother, wonderful husband, and best dad ever—he will be missed but forever in our hearts. “Gone Fishin.”