Lilia “Lile” Lopez Johnston, a woman known for her contagious smile, was born on May 28, 1926, exactly two years after the love of her life, Martin Johnston, was born. She was born to two loving parents, Manuel and Ysidora Lopez of Rio Grande City. They instilled in her a love of family and a love of learning. Lile was valedictorian of the Rio Grande City High School Class of 1946. She was offered scholarships to Denton’s Women’s College, University of Texas Austin and to Edinburg Junior College. Her choice of colleges would prove to be a pivotal point in her life. By attending Edinburg Junior College, she met Martin, a WWII veteran. Together, Lile and Martin treasured a journey in life that spanned 65 years. They were briefly blessed with a son; George Martin, who died as a toddler. Soon after, they had four devoted daughters; Janie Johnston Lopez (Mario), Rebeca Johnston (Tim), Patricia Johnston Villarreal (Robert), and Alma Johnston Besson, grandchildren; Vito Chavana (Melany), Angela Avitia, Christina Garza (Abel), Michael Lopez (Veronica), Alexis Villarreal (Felicia), Robert Villarreal, Adrienne Martinez (Eric), Daniel Villarreal, Gabrielle Johnston-Besson, Tristan Besson and Avery Johnston-Besson, twelve great-grandchildren, brothers-in-law; Fred Johnston (+Fidela), Henry Johnston (+Barbara), Rudy Johnston (Mary), sisters-in-law; Margaret Johnston, Marcella Purvis (+Joe), Rose Marie Johnston. She is preceded in death by her husband; Martin Johnston, son; George Martin Johnston, parents, brothers; Ernesto Lopez and Ernesto Cipriano Lopez, sister; Hijinia Hinojosa, brother-in-law; Charlie Johnston (Mary), sister-in-law; Mary Frances Johnston Ortega (Roy), father and mother-in-law; Charlie and Mary King Johnston.
Lilia received her Bachelor of Science degree from Pan American College and became one of the first graduates to receive her Master Degree as an Educational Diagnostician from Pan Am. She taught special education classes in Hidalgo and McAllen and was an educational diagnostician in Edinburg, Del Rio and McAllen.
Lilia enjoyed the daily challenge of completing the Monitor’s crossword puzzles, cryptoquips and word scrabble. She was an avid reader, gifted seamstress and could cook the best deer and javelina meat. Lile was also known to be filming family members at family gatherings.
Despite being a career woman, she always found time to actively support her daughters in their extracurricular activities, but what she loved most in life was spending time traveling or just hanging out with her “Honey”. Her happiness and positive outlook on life was evident on the beautiful smile she wore on her glowing face throughout her lifetime.
Lile’s legacy lives on in her family, friends and all those whose lives she touched.
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” – A. Lincoln
Thank you for being our angel mother.
Love, Janie, Becky, Patti and Alma
Her Family will receive family and friends today, Tuesday, June 6, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. with a Celebration of her Life at 7:00 p.m. in the Chapel of Peace at Ceballos-Diaz Funeral Home, 322 East Kuhn Street in Edinburg. Christian services will be held on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. in the Chapel of Peace at Ceballos-Diaz Funeral Home. Christian burial will follow to Hillcrest Memorial Park Cemetery, 1701 East Richardson Road in Edinburg. Having the distinguished honor to serve as pallbearers will be her grandsons. Funeral services have been entrusted to Ceballos-Diaz Funeral Home in Edinburg.