The Day

Frances Johnstone


— Frances (Fran) Mystic Louise Davis Johnstone, 86, of Mystic, Conn., passed away peacefully on March 1, 2023. Born on Nov. 7, 1936, and raised in Worcester, Mass., she was the daughter of Eleanor and Harry Davis and sister of Priscilla and Phil Davis. She attended the Ethel Walker’s school with dear life-long friend, Betty Richards, and then Smith College, where she sang in the Smiffenpoo­fs a cappella group and met her future husband one weekend during a concert with the Princeton Tigertones.

Shortly after graduating in 1958, she married Rodney Johnstone, and together they had five children while living in Stonington surrounded by lots of extended Johnstone family. After their divorce in 1969, Fran moved with her two girls back to Worcester to be closer to her family. There she worked as a bookkeeper for RC Taylor Trust, her family’s commercial real estate company, and gave piano lessons in her home. For many years, she also played the organ for weekly services at Holden Baptist Church and hand-knitted the most beautiful sweaters you’ve ever seen. She loved spending time with all five of her children at her mother’s summer cottage in Magnolia, Mass., and on family vacations in the New Hampshire White Mountains.

Fran was a pianist, organist and singer who passed her love for music on to her children. The focal point of her living room was a baby-grand piano, and she never tired of hearing her children and grandchild­ren play and sing for her on whatever instrument they chose to pursue. She listened to her local classical radio station most days of her life and actively supported concert halls and music education programs in her hometown of Worcester, Mass. She was an active knitter and loved nothing more than a large supply of brightly colored yarn to work with. She was a prolific letter writer and cherished the many letters that returned with news and pix of her grandchild­ren’s latest adventures.

Fran will be missed by her children, Jeff (& Mary) Johnstone of Portsmouth, R.I., Phil (& Elizabeth) Johnstone of Stonington, Conn., Alan (& Laurie) Johnstone of Stonington, Conn., Becky Johnstone of Groton, Conn., and Pam Johnstone of Stonington, Conn.; her grandchild­ren, Rachel (& Matt) Kirby, Meggi Johnstone, Elizabeth Johnstone, Sam Ognisty, Matt Johnstone, Jack Ognisty, Charlotte Johnstone, Ainsley Johnstone, Graham Johnstone and Katie Johnstone; her brother, Phil (& Laurie) Davis of Boylston, Mass.; Rodney & Lucia Johnstone of Stonington, Conn., Betty Richards of Mystic, Conn., and her friends.

We will be celebratin­g her life privately as a family and are so grateful for the loving support we’ve received from friends and family.

The family invites you to visit www.mysticfune­ to leave a note of condolence.

Gifts in Fran’s memory can be made to her favorite music education nonprofit:

Joy of Music

1 Gorham St. Worcester, MA 01605

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