MARIAVILLE – Stephen R. Johnston, 65, died unexpectedly Sept. 26, 2012, at his home. He was born Jan. 18, 1947, in Fort Fairfield, son of Helen Elizabeth Kelleher Titcomb and Raymond R. Johnston Jr.
Stephen graduated from Fort Fairfield High School, class of 1965. After graduation, he attended the University of Maine studying political science. He volunteered for the draft and served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Army Commendation Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge First Award. He was honorably discharged after being injured in 1971. After his service, he became an advocate for peace and objector to war, and maintained these ideals until his death. Stephen returned home to his wife, Lynn and daughter, Anne, who was born while he was in Vietnam. He finished his degree at the University of Maine. He settled in Bangor and worked as a drug and alcohol counselor for several years; for Wellspring, The Bangor Halfway House and the Maine State Prison, Thomaston. He provided counseling for his fellow veterans on a volunteer basis. Stephen then owned and operated “Stephenstrings” for many years, a downtown Bangor stringed instrument repair shop. A renowned luthier, he built custom stringed instruments such as mandolins, violins and guitars, and was lauded as a superior craftsman. He frequently held “jam sessions” during evening hours at the shop, making music with his many talented friends and customers. He was an accomplished musician and played many musical instruments, from strings to keyboards to the didgeridoo. After closing his shop, he settled into quietude at his residence in Mariaville. He strongly endorsed the principles of alcoholics anonymous.
Stephen is survived by one daughter, Anne Soucy of Queensbury, N.Y.; nephews, Troy Johnston of Portland and David Sickles of Bangor; uncle and aunt, Charles and Dawna Fowler of Fort Fairfield; special cousins, friends too numerous to count; and his beloved cat, Duchess. He was predeceased by his parents; one brother, Raymond R. Johnston III; and special uncle, Gilbert M. Titcomb.
A service of remembrance will be held 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, at Jordan-Fernald, 113 Franklin St., Ellsworth. Friends are encouraged to bring their musical instruments, songs and stories. Condolences may be expressed at
“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
~Henry David Thoreau, 1854