Willard Wright Johnston, 73, passed away at home Saturday, January 8, 2022. Wright, the man, the myth, the legend; flew small airplanes, drove racecars at Atlanta and Charlotte Motor Speedway, and was the lead singer and flute lead in a band with the original bass player of Lynyard Skynyard. Singer/song writer and recording artist, high school drum major, and local actor at several Chattanooga venues including volunteer actor/director in family and domestic violence awareness plays for Chattanooga Department of Family and Children Services.
A life-long educator by trade, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Education from Florida State University, Masters in school administration from Valdosta State University, and Doctorial studies at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Esteemed and honored Walker County Principal from 1977-1993 at both Mountain View and Fairview Elementary inspiring many students and teachers throughout the years.
Driven by his love for family, determination to live and stubbornness to not be defeated, Wright will be revered by many people from many generations. He is a product of Willard Bartow Johnston and Nellie Doris Powel Johnston and will leave a legacy across North Georgia and Chattanooga. Survived by his beautiful and devoted college sweetheart and love of his life for 51 years, Diana Louise Hauck Johnston; his striking son and compadre Patrick Wright Johnston and his delightful grandchildren Abigail Leigh Johnston and Nathaniel Wright Johnston who have created joy and a will to live despite life’s challenges. Sisters: Shirley Tyson (Larry) and Marsha Tyson (Harry). Brother-in-law Colonel John D. Hauck (Kristen) and Sister-in-law Karen Boles (Ken). Nieces and Nephews: Larry Tyson Jr, Michael Tyson, Robert Tyson, Stephen Tyson, Brian Hauck, Lauren Hauck Lin, Derek Tanner, Scott Tanner, plus 17 great nieces and nephews.
Memorial services will be 6 PM Friday, April 15, 2022 in the funeral home chapel.
Graveside services will be 1 PM Saturday, April 16, 2022 at Green Lawn Cemetery in Roswell, GA.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to be sent to Pilgrim Congregation United Church of Christ 400 Glenwood Ave, Chattanooga TN, 37404. www.pilgrim-church.com. OR make a contribution to a charity of your choice in Wright’s name.
Family will receive friends 4-6 PM, Friday before the service at Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory, Battlefield Parkway.