Don and Charlotte Johnston Endowment established at Northwest

The Don and Charlotte Johnston Endowment was established by Charlotte’s colleagues in the Northwest Business Division, both current and retired.

Don Johnston grew up in Waynesboro, the middle child of three boys. He played football at Jones County Junior College and at Mississippi College.  He was in the Marine Reserves and was on standby during the Korean War.

Charlotte Johnston grew up in Coldwater, graduating from Coldwater High School. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Mississippi.

Charlotte taught for eight years part time at Northwest before she was hired to teach full time.  Earline Cocke, her office mate for 14 years, said that Charlotte would never take a day off. “If a computer needed repairing, she would take out her trusty screwdriver and fix it.  Whatever needed done, Charlotte would do it, and how her students loved her,” Cocke said.

Don and his brother opened a full-service station, wrecker service, and truck shop in Tate County.

Both Don and Charlotte operated a farm where they grew blueberries and other crops.

Charlotte died in 2005 at the age of 55.  Don died in August of this year at the age of 84. They are survived by their daughter, Lora Depriest and her husband Chris and their son, Perk and his wife Alaina along with seven grandchildren, Anna Clair, Mary Gracin, Abby, Carter, Carlee, Brooklynn, and Karis, and one great-grandchild, Carolina.

As a tribute to Don, who was fondly referred as the “mayor” of the Greenleaf community, to recognize his service to the community and the volunteer fire department for 23 years, a plaque has been placed on a newly acquired 3000-gallon Pumper/Tanker Fire Truck to honor Don’s service.

The children of Don and Charlotte, Perk Johnston and Lora DePriest, are pleased and grateful for these honors given to their parents saying that their parents would be so happy to know that her memory was being used to help the students at Northwest.

“This scholarship was established because instructors in the Academic Business Division contributed monthly for several years to honor their colleague, Charlotte, and her husband, Don. Both Charlotte and Don exemplify the very best in integrity and service. We are glad that Perk is teaching at Northwest just as his mother did. Our foundation is honored to have a scholarship that bears the names of two very fine people,” Northwest President, Dr. Michael Heindl said.

The Don and Charlotte Johnston Endowment will be awarded to students pursuing a career pathway in Academic Business.

For more information about the Northwest Foundation, contact Sybil Canon, associate vice president of Development and Special Projects at 662-560-1103 or e-mail

Pictured: At a recent ceremony honoring those who have established endowed scholarships at Northwest Mississippi Community College, a plaque of appreciation was presented by Northwest President, Dr. Michael Heindl (left, center) to Perk Johnston for the establishment of the Don and Charlotte Johnston Endowment. Pictured front row (l-r) are Carter Harris, Abby Harris, Lora Depriest, Dr. Heindl, Perk Johnston, Alaina Johnston, Anna Clair Johnston and Carolina Johnston. Second row (l-r) Earline Cocke, Chris Depriest, Cliff Johnston, Mary Gracin Johnston and Dr. Amy Stewart. Top row (l-r) Don Clanton, Jennie Wilbourn, Ann Todd, Deanna Knight and Leah Arrington, division director of Business. The scholarship was established by retired and current Northwest colleagues of Charlotte Johnston.  (Photo by LaJuan Tallo)

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