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Nancy Ann Benham Johnston passed away unexpectedly on May 29, 2020. She was born in Oklahoma City, OK on August 1st, 1951 to Betty Louise Prichard Benham and David Blair Benham, both now deceased but deeply loved by her during their lives. She graduated from Casady School in 1969 and attended Bennett College in New York for one year before transferring to the University of Oklahoma, where she earned a degree in Psychology. She spent most of her adult life in Oklahoma City, having lived briefly near Los Angeles, CA, Vancouver Island, British Columbia and LaGrande, OR. She was first and foremost a life-long practicing artist. She worked for her father’s nationally recognized company, the Benham Companies where she was a board member, before striking out on her own as owner of the Graphic Resource Center, which she later sold. She married J. Mike Johnston, DVM and became above all else a devoted wife and mother to her two children, John Addison Johnston and Audrey Alese Johnston, both of Oklahoma City. She later worked as the office manager for her husband’s veterinary practice, Equine Medical Associates.
She is survived by her husband and two children, daughter-in-law Mary Martine Johnston and granddaughter Riley Martine Johnston both of Oklahoma City, OK, as well as her siblings, Barbara Benham Lacy and husband Jerry Lacy of Big Fork, Montana, Zan Benham of Sarasota, Florida, and David Blair Benham II and wife Raine Benham of Oklahoma City as well as their respective children and grandchildren.
Nancy was an exceptional artist, gardener, avid reader, and lover of horses and dogs. Her art has been exhibited at many places, including the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum, Picasso Café, the Contemporary Art Gallery of Paseo, and the 50 Penn Place Gallery. Most recently she was the illustrator of the children’s book entitled, “The Adventures of Miss Kitty”, and remained an art fan and student of other artists she admired so much. She loved experimenting with healthy substitutions and creations in the kitchen, fittingly dubbed “the lab”, which always kept her test subjects (family) in suspense about the outcome. She loved to watch sunsets on the back porch and relish the splendor of nature. She would enliven any gathering she attended with the “joie de vivre” of a performance artist! She was a proud and passionate American patriot and die-hard Thunder fan. Her wit and humor have touched countless lives, none so much as her family whom will hold and preserve those memories as a guiding light to pass on. The world is a better place having known this incredible woman, and the gratitude her family has for knowing and loving her will never diminish.
At her behest, immediate family will hold a memorial service in private. A celebration of her life with an exhibit of her many pieces of art will be tentatively held at her home on August 1st, 2020. In lieu of flowers, please consider endowment donations in her name to Edmond Fine Arts Institute or The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.