Judith Rae Johnston

Judith Rae Johnston

Judith Rae Johnston, PhD, Professor Emerita at the University of British Columbia School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, died at her home in Vancouver on August 26, 2018. Judith was born in Pasadena California, where she spent her childhood. She studied at Stanford (BA and MA in speech-language pathology) and the University of California, Berkeley, where she completed a PhD in Developmental Psychology in 1979. Judith went on to have an illustrious academic career first at Indiana University, then from 1989 at the University of British Columbia where she was Professor and Director at the School of Audiology and Speech Sciences.  Judith was recognized at local, national, and international levels for her outstanding contributions to the field of communication sciences and disorders as a researcher, teacher, administrator, and mentor. Awards included the Honours of the BC Association of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, the UBC Killam Teaching Prize, a 3M Teaching Fellowship, the Honors of the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association, and a lifetime achievement award for research at the Symposium for Research in Child Language Disorders. Judith was a gifted classical singer, a talented photographer, and an enthusiastic gardener. She was proud of her Swedish and Cherokee heritage.  She loved music, art, travel, museums, word games, detective novels, and flying her kite. Most of all, she cherished her family and her friends.


Judith’s parents were Naomi Harmon Johnston and Roy Gunnar Johnston. She is survived by her brother Robert K. Johnston and sister-in-law Catherine M. Barsotti, Pasadena CA; her niece Elizabeth Johnston and family Brian Nalezny, Anna, Jayne, and Thomas, Minneapolis MN; her niece Margaret Browne and family Kevin Browne, Eleanor, and James, Madison ME; her aunt Lillian Johnston, Mercer Island WA; cousins Mark Johnston, Gay Mitchell, and Christina, Coquitlam BC; cousins Gail and Roger Johnson, Seattle WA; cousins Anne and Richard Fuller, Spokane WA; her long-time colleague, friend, and companion Jo Nussbaum, Vancouver, and Jo’s family; her devoted friend and caregiver Loida Jimenez; and many friends and colleagues around the world.


She survives in the many students and clinicians she taught and mentored.


A Celebration of Life will take place at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, 3811 Point Grey Road, Vancouver, on Sunday October 28 at 2pm, followed by a reception.


If desired, donations in Judith’s memory may be made to Indspire (indspire.ca), the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra (vancouversymphony.ca), or the BC Centre for Ability (bc-cfa.org).

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