Margaret Gaston Johnson, 88, awarded YMCA plaque for reaching 100-mile running mark

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Margaret Gaston Johnson
Margaret Gaston Johnson

Margaret Gaston Johnson, of Wilmington, died Friday, June 12, 2015, at the age of 88.

She was born Jan. 16, 1927, in Gastonia, the daughter of the late Woodfin Grady Gaston and R. Bertha Johnson Gaston and her stepmother, Patti Mack Gaston. She was preceded in death by her brother, Woodfin Grady Gaston Jr. and sister, Mary Hill Flagler. She was also preceded in death by her beloved husband, Thomas Nelson Page Johnson Jr., of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Her first husband and father of her sons, Walter Taliaferro Hughes, died in 2014.

She is survived by two sons, Walter Taliaferro Hughes Jr. (Jean) and Grady Gaston Hughes (Gail); grandchildren, Margaret Ann Gonella (John) and Walter Taliaferro Hughes III (Jennie); great-grandchildren, John Felix Gonella IV and Franklin Hughes Gonella (born June 12, 2015); and nieces and nephews, Fred J. Flagler III, Margaret F MacLaren, Eleanor F. Hardy, David Flagler, Betsy F. Washburn, Katy F. Fleer and Annie H. Goldfield.

Margaret was a dedicated member of Galilee Episcopal Church (Virginia Beach, Virginia) and St. James Episcopal Church where she served on the Altar Guild. She was active in the Ministering Circle and the Junior League.

As a pioneer of a healthy lifestyle, she was a longtime member of the Y, running and swimming daily. In Wilmington, she opened the doors every morning to get to the pool first. At one point, she was presented a plaque from the YMCA for running, reaching the 100-mile mark. As a lifelong member of the Cape Fear Country Club, she also enjoyed golfing and swimming.

Margaret graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. In school she was a reporter with the Daily Tarheel and later worked with the Wilmington Morning Star.

The family will receive friends from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, June 17, 2015, at Andrews Market Street Chapel followed by a graveside service beginning at 11 a.m. at Oakdale Cemetery with the Rev. Ron Abrams officiating.

The family would like to thank the staff of Autumn Care for their love and compassion to Margaret.

Memorials may be made to Duke Cancer lnstitute, 710 W. Main St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 or St. James Parish, 25 S. 3rd St., Wilmington, NC 28401.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Andrews Mortuary.

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