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Marcia

Marcia Allen Johnston

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Marcia Allen Johnston, 78, passed away peacefully on October 4, 2023 in McLean, Virginia.
Marcia was born on December 20, 1944, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri to Jack Allen and Dorothy (Nelson) Allen. After attending Shawnee Mission East High School in Kansas City, Kansas, she enrolled at the University of Kansas, where she excelled academically. She went on to teach English to junior high school students in Ann Arbor, Michigan and Seoul, Korea before working as a volunteer in Washington, DC for Senator George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign.

The McGovern Campaign was transformative for Marcia. She met many of her closest friends there and she developed an interest in politics and social change that lasted her entire life. She worked to elect Senator Gary Hart to his first term in Congress and later fundraised for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Marcia went on to hold leadership and management roles at nonprofits, including the American Film Institute, People for the American Way, and Business Executives for National Security. At AFI, she helped organize the first Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, and she honed her event planning skills in helping put together the first Christmas in Washington event. Her final professional role was as a business consultant working with her friend and business partner, General Richard Hearney.

Marcia collected close friends throughout her life. With many of them, she traveled the world, including Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, India, Indonesia, the UK, France, Mexico, Vietnam, Cambodia, Turkey, Namibia, and Cuba. Italy was one of her favorite places, and she returned many times with a collection of friends who styled themselves “The Villa People.” She was an accomplished cook and hostess who delighted in entertaining friends and family at her Washington, DC home and at the home of friends on the Chesapeake Bay. She had an eye for art, color, and beauty, and she remained an avid reader throughout her life.

Marcia was a devoted mother to Beth and Meredith Johnston, as well as a loving sister to Jane, Jack (who preceded her in death), Bob, and Susan. She was a steadfast friend to her siblings-in-law, including Jack Middleton, Diana Allen, Cathy Allen, Jeff Slattery, and Mike and Mary Johnston. She was close to her many nieces and nephews, and after a long and mostly patient wait, she delighted in meeting her two granddaughters, Rasmine and Dorothea Adams. She is also survived by her much-loved sons-in-law, Kevin Adams and David Ray, and her former husband, James Johnston.

Everyone who knew Marcia will miss her brilliant smile, her infectious laugh, her joie de vivre, and her steady and compassionate friendship.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Marcia’s name to the American Cancer Society. A memorial service will take place in the new year.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marcia Allen Johnston, please visit our flower store.

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