Memorable Manitobans: John Franklin “Frank” Johnston (1929-2017)
Born at Winnipeg on 3 September 1929, son of William John Johnston (1890-1946) and Blanche Irene Guest (1891-1972), he was educated at St. James Collegiate and St. Johns College. He served on the St. James municipal council (1964-1966, 1968-1972) and as Deputy Mayor (1968).
Elected to the Manitoba Legislature in June 1969, representing the Sturgeon Creek constituency, he was re-elected in 1973, 1977, 1981, and 1986. He served as the Minister Responsible for the Manitoba Housing and Renewal Corporation (1977-1978), Minister of Economic Development (1978-1979), and Minister of Economic Development and Tourism (1979-1981) in the government of Sterling Lyon. He was defeated in the 1988 general election.
On 24 February 1951, he married Hazel Muriel Springett (daughter of Ray Springett) and they had two daughters and a son. The family lived at 310 Overdale Street. He was a member of the Northwest Commercial Travellers Association, Assiniboine Golf Club, St. Charles Country Club, and Masons (Sturgeon Creek Lodge). In recognition of his community service, he received a Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and Mandeville Park was renamed in his honour (2011).
He died at Winnipeg on 7 February 2017.
Marriage registration [William John Johnston, Blanche Irene Guest], Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“W. J. Johnston, businessman, dies in crash,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 September 1946, page 11.
Obituary [Mrs. W. J. Johnston], Winnipeg Free Press, 6 September 1972, page 33.
The Canadian Parliamentary Guide, 1988, Internet Archive.
We thank Oliver Bernuetz (Legislative Library of Manitoba) for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 19 November 2023