Marthe Johnston

May 8, 1926 - Aug. 27, 2020

Marthe Johnston

Marthe Johnston

Marthe was born on May 8, 1926, an only child to Paul and Raymonde Ghilarducci in Marseille, France.

Although her teenage years were spent during World War II and the German occupation, she grew up in a close and happy family. She spent her time between college and the sea, living so close to the sea it was inevitable that she adored swimming and diving the long hot summers. She and her cousins were at the beach each day.

In 1945, during the American Liberation, she met Lee H. Johnston, an American soldier. They fell in love and, after a two-year courtship, were married in March 1947.

Both returned to the U.S. in early 1948 to California, where Lee was discharged. They established their home at Lake Tahoe, where 10 years later they were blessed with the first of their three children, Paul. Then, two years later, they welcomed their second child, Claude; and then Suzette, their daughter, arrived. By then the family was well established in Tahoe City, Lake Tahoe. They lived there until 1981, when they moved to Escondido, Calif.

Eventually, Marthe and Lee moved to Whidbey Island, Wash., to be near Suzette and her family. Lee passed away on Feb. 3, 2003.

Marthe is survived by her three children, Paul and his wife, Lorna, Claude and his wife, Carol, and Suzette and her husband, David; and four grandchildren, Brittany Madsen and her husband, Brandon, Zachariah Johnston and his wife, Christina, Kyle Johnston and Lindsey Johnston.

To share memories of Marthe, please sign the online guestbook at

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