Janet S. Johnston, 66, high school teacher

May 28, 2004

Janet S. Johnston, a retired high school English teacher, died Wednesday of Alzheimer's disease at College Manor in Lutherville. The former Fallston resident was 66.

Born Janet Louise Sutherland in Richlands, Va., the daughter of an educator, she was raised in Bel Air and graduated from Bel Air High School in 1955. She earned her bachelor's degree in education from what is now McDaniel College, a master's degree in liberal arts from the Johns Hopkins University and a master's in philosophy from Rutgers University.

Ms. Johnston taught English at Bel Air High from 1960 until 1965, when she moved to Rhode Island and taught at Roger Williams University. She later taught high school English in Holmdel, N.J.

Ms. Johnston wrote a 1981 New York Times article about why students cheat that said: "Teachers sometimes hesitate to bring students' cheating to the attention of parents for fear of not being supported, or, even worse, of finding themselves attacked by parents." She also said her students made appeals to her for vigilance against cheating.

After receiving a diagnosis of Alzheimer's in 1990 at age 52, she had lived in Fallston for seven years and had been in nursing care since 1997.

Ms. Johnston had been a long-term supporter of organizations including the National Organization for Women and Amnesty International.

"She loved giving parties, where she could talk with friends about the political issues of the day," said her husband of 45 years, Lewis M. Johnston, a sales and marketing official for Supreme Lighting.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

She is also survived by two sons, Mark L. Johnston of Plymouth, Mich., and Scott A. Johnston of Boxford, Mass.; her stepmother, Ruth G. Sutherland of Fallston; a brother, Alan B. Sutherland of Davison, Mich.; and four grandchildren.

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