Joan John­ston-stern of Jenk­in­town

Springfield Sun - - FEATURES -

Joan John­ston­stern, 85, passed away peace­fully on April 20, 2017 at home at Ry­dal Park, Jenk­in­town, PA.

Mrs. John­ston­stern was a beloved mother, grand­mother, sis­ter, aunt, cousin, friend, vol­un­teer, and in­spired Demo­cratic Party grass­roots politi­cian. She was born on March 21, 1932, the el­dest child of Werner (a pro­fes­sor of or­ganic chem­istry at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan) and Marie (nee Kna­phurst) Bach­mann (a Univer­sity of Michi­gan ad­min­is­tra­tor) in Ann Ar­bor, Michi­gan. John­ston­stern moved to Wyn­cote, PA in 1964 with her hus­band, Robert F. John­ston, M.D. (1932-1982) and their six chil­dren: Lau­rie, Wendy (Tom Bracaglia), Tracy (Jeff Kirch­ner), Thomas (Claire Marie), Robert (Sta­cie), and Jen­nifer (Will Nagy.)

In the 1970s, John­ston-stern be­came in­volved in en­vi­ron­men­tal ac­tivism and lo­cal Demo­cratic Party pol­i­tics in Chel­tenham Town­ship. She was a key mem­ber of the cam­paign teams for Town­ship Com­mis­sioner, School Board, and Mont­gomery County Com­mis­sioner. Her work and un­flag­ging sup­port was cru­cial in many vic­to­ries, and helped the Democrats in­crease their po­lit­i­cal in­flu­ence in lo­cal, county, and na­tional gov­ern­ment. John­ston-stern mar­ried Peter Stern in 1985 af­ter the death of Dr. John­ston. The Sterns spent more than 25 years to­gether shar­ing their in­ter­ests and pas­sions for pol­i­tics and com­mu­nity en­gage­ment. They worked as a team whether it be on the elec­tion of a Demo­cratic ma­jor­ity for Mont­gomery County, the prepa­ra­tion of elec­tion poll ma­te­ri­als for Chel­tenham Town­ship, a grand­child’s birth­day, or a meal, of­ten for 20 or more, at their home in Wyn­cote. In ad­di­tion to Demo­cratic pol­i­tics, Mrs. John­ston-stern was fo­cused on her fam­ily, in­clud­ing Peter’s chil­dren, Steven Stern (Laura Kavesh) and An­drew Stern (Melissa Mc­grain), her chil­dren, and her nine­teen grand­chil­dren.

Mrs. John­ston-stern is sur­vived by her chil­dren, the Stern chil­dren, the grand­chil­dren, her brother Roger Bach­mann (Mar­i­lyn), brother-in-law Richard John­ston, and sis­tersin-law Dene Mayer and Mar­jory John­ston (Doug Welker.)

A ser­vice in Mrs. John­ston-stern’s mem­ory will be held on Satur­day May 13, 2017 at 11 am at Cal­vary Pres­by­te­rian Church, Wyn­cote, PA. A re­cep­tion will fol­low the ser­vice. Gifts may be made in her mem­ory to the Chel­tenham Demo­cratic Com­mit­tee, 211 W. Waverly Road, Glenside, PA 19038 (www.chel­ or a char­ity of choice.

Ar­range­ments were by Hel­weg & Row­land Fu­neral Home, Abing­ton, PA.


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