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Posted on August 10, 2016 | 2:27 p.m.

Mary Magdalene Johnston of Santa Maria, 1913-2016

Source: Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary, Crematory and Memory Gardens

Mary Johnston

Mary Magdalene Johnston of Santa Maria passed away August 2016.

Mary was born Sept. 23, 1913, in Randlette, Okla., to Ufa Ola Person and James David Smith. She was the first of seven siblings.

Mary and her former husband and father of her two children, Arthur Huddleston, arrived in Santa Maria from Texas in 1936. They were both employed by Cal Veg Growers.

Mary then accepted employment for Williams Brother’s Market as a checker, and she was the market’s first nonrelative employee.

Mary married Donald Johnston of Santa Maria, who worked in the oil business, in 1959. Together they lived in the Middle East and traveled the world for several years.

She enjoyed shopping, the different cultures and customs of the many people she met and the friends she acquired. She even rode a camel and her father was able to visit her while she still lived there.

During visits back to Santa Maria, Mary carried a celebrity status by dressing in the traditional clothing of Arabia and bringing gifts to all the family.

She especially enjoyed her beloved dear friend Alma Eisner, who preceded her in death. Alma became fast friends with Mary’s sisters as well.

Eventually, Mary and Don would return to Santa Maria, where they remained until their passing.   

Mary and Don were members of First Christian Church, and they were both baptized in 1979. Their faith in the Lord helped them through the rough times and was a foundation to draw from for daily living.

Before the good old golden years crept in, Mary was a wonderful cook and well known for her biscuits and “Okie” gravy. Mary was loved by many, and she cherished her family and friends. 

Mary is survived by her daughter, JoAnn Anderson; daughter-in-law, Darline Huddleston; granddaughters Toni Simonsen and Terry Anderson; great-grandsons Cory and Ryan Gudmunds; great-great-grandchildren Milana and Bentley; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She is also survived by her brother, JD Smith, and sister-in-law, Anne. A retired Nazarene minister, JD continued to minister to Mary and all the family.

Mary was preceded in death by her former husband, Arthur Huddleston, in 1986; husband Donald Johnston in 2014; son, Kenneth Huddleston, in 2015; stepson, Don Jr., in 1993; and her dear friend Alma Eisner.

She was also preceded by her sisters, Linda Absher (Sherman) (Dale Dean), Jimmie Karsgard (Hank), Claudia Weber (Bob) (Phil Wallick) and Billie Grose (Jay “Montie”) as well as her brother-in-law, Weldon Greathouse.

The death of nieces and nephews Nancy Jackson, Kathy Grose, Ryan Chaker and Mark Smith impacted Mary greatly.

Mary’s family is deeply grateful and appreciative of Country Oaks Care Center, which she called home since 2009. They loved her dearly and made her feel at home with the care and comfort they provided her. Thank you to Dr. Desmond, who provided great care and was a bright spot for Mary.

Visitation will be at Dudley Hoffman Mortuary from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2016. A graveside service will be held at the Santa Maria Cemetery (old section) at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016, officiated by Pastor Jim Larrabee of First Christian Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Marian Regional Medical Center (cardiac care) in Mary’s name.

To leave a condolence for the family, visit


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