Richard “Rick” Alan Johnsten

February 8, 1937 - December 10, 2017

Richard “Rick” Alan Johnsten, 80, of Great Falls, MT, died December 10, 2017, surrounded by his loving family, who while grieving his death, take joy and hope in the promises made to Rick in his baptism.

Rick was born on February 8, 1937, in Norway, IA, to Carsten T. and Arlene B. (Pirie) Johnsten. He graduated from Osage High School, attended his freshman year at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, and graduated from the University of Iowa, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 1959. He entered the US Air Force in 1960, proudly serving our nation for 22 years. His military career involved duty in Atlas and Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile squadrons.

He was married to Margery E. Kelley July 18, 1962. Their marriage was blessed with two daughters, Christina and Jennifer, and a son, Christian. As a family they enjoyed the wide-open spaces of Montana, hunting, fishing, and camping. The family was active in a Lutheran congregation at their various military homes, where Rick served as an elder, taught Sunday School and sang in the choir. Rick and Marge's participation in the annual legendary Labor Day weekend Trinity Lutheran Pairables float trips on the White Cliffs of the Missouri River were treasured experiences. More recently Rick was a member of Peace Lutheran Church.

Following his time in the Air Force, Rick started a new career as an educator in 1987. He taught chemistry for five years at Great Falls and CMR High Schools, where he made many new friends in the secondary education community. Upon final retirement he took up oil painting, winning many ribbons at the Montana State Fair and was honored to have two paintings in a show at the C. M. Russell Museum. He also volunteered for several years as the Saturday morning cook at Peace Hospice House.

Rick is survived by his wife, Margery; his children Rev. Christina (Trina) Johnsten (Dennis Trotter) of Philadelphia, PA, Jennifer (Daniel) Woods of Great Falls, and Christian Johnsten of Los Angeles, CA; grandchildren Claire and Emily Woods; step-grandchildren Brittney and Matthew Woods, and Tiffany, Chelsea and Parker Trotter; and cousin William (Linda) Pirie of Greeley, CO.

Rick was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother, David Edward.

Services will be held on Tuesday, December 26, 2017, at Peace Lutheran Church in Great Falls, MT, at 3:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. Committal will take place at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Peace Lutheran Church or Peace Hospice of Great Falls.

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