Frankie Lorene Johnstone

Frankie Lorene Johnstone “slipped the bonds of this world” on the morning of Jan. 2, 2016, in San Diego, California.

Frankie was born on June 9, l930, in Stapp, Ok, and was the only child of Frank Edward Emerson and Esbia “Tiny” Lorene (Stewart) Emerson. She spent the early years of her childhood in Caddo, Ok, growing up on the large Emerson Family Farm. Frank had seven sisters and brothers, so Frankie’s life was full of cousins and long days filled with play, and many wonderful memories.
At the age of nine, Frank and Tiny moved to California to Calipatria-by-the Sea, and later moved to Brawley, where Frankie graduated from Brawley High School, married and had two children, Kathryn and Richard.

The young family moved to Imperial Beach when Frankie was 21. A few years later, Frankie remarried Elmer F. Mikkelson, Jr. (deceased)--and moved to Chula Vista. Elmer adopted Kathryn and Richard and they had a son, Mark. They were a happy family with lots of love, adventures and laughter in their lives.

In 1981, Frankie married Robert James Johnstone, a U.S. Navy Commander and they spent 34 very happy and loving years together. Those years were filled with laughter and travel all over the world, and a lot of hard work! Bob was “family” to Kathy and David, Rick and Mark. He assumed the role of care-giving for Frankie’s parents, Frank and Tiny, until their deaths. He also cared for Frankie during her bouts of health issues over the years. Bob was the “love of her life.” During these past six months, he cared for her, with devotion, passion and without a thought to himself. He was a role-model for everyone.

Frankie lived life to the fullest. She was a beautiful woman, outwardly and inwardly. To those who she knew and loved, she was highly intelligent, inquisitive, kind, generous, spirited, honest, dignified, loyal, gracious, and vibrant and fun-loving. She was genuine and comfortable in her own skin, and did not change her values under pressure. In her younger days, she loved to entertain and was known for having great parties with a flair, often with a specific party theme. She was a keen observer of personalities, and loved to discuss how people interact as they went about their daily routines. She was drawn to unusual personalities, intelligent people with their own views and opinions. She especially enjoyed the several weeks she and Bob spent in Cancun each year in their timeshare overlooking the Caribbean Sea.

Frankie was a former First Lady for BPOE Lodge # 2011 (Chula Vista Elk’s Lodge) and worked tirelessly when her husband, Bob, was Exalted Ruler. She and a friend, Ella Croshier, started a newspaper in Imperial Beach in the late 1960’s and were active in the city’s politics. For several years, she was a monitor/vote counter at voting booths in San Diego County. She and Ella opened two dress stores in the 1970’s: The Hi Tiki in Imperial Beach and The Fashion Stop in Bonita which she not only co-managed, but was also the buyer. Frankie was co-owner of a large, long-time San Diego County business, Mikkelson Rubbish Disposal.

Frankie was an active participant in her children’s lives. She was a Camp Fire Girl Leader for two years, and was very active in the PTA. She and dad spent countless hours helping them with homework and reading stories every night before bedtime. She encouraged all of them to make their own way in the world and taught them this by example.

She loved all of her dogs who shared her life over many years, and was a life-long advocate for humane treatment of animals.

In an attempt to define Frankie, you would admire her for her keen business sense. Until she fell in June, 2015, she was managing her carwashes, commercial and residential rentals. Her world caved in on her after that.

Frankie was well-loved and cherished by her family.

She is survived by her beloved husband, Robert “Bob” Johnstone; her daughter, Kathryn “Kathy” Emerson Smith, son-in-law, David Robert Smith, of Fox Island, Wa; and her son, Mark Forest Mikkelson of San Diego. Her son, Richard “Rick” Lee Mikkelson predeceased her as did her parents, and all of her uncles and aunts in Oklahoma. She is survived by a very large paternal family, the Emerson clan in Oklahoma and Texas, and a very small group of maternal family in Oregon, and her beloved uncle-by-marriage, Alan “Ozzie” Osborn, of Carson City, Nv.

Her daughter, Kathy, and Frankie were very close, and Kathy is devastated over the loss of her mother and best friend. Kathy and David are very grateful to Bob for all he has done for Frankie and our family.

Please feel free to make memorials in her name to San Diego Humane Society or the Fisher House Foundation that supports the military and their families.

“Death leaves a heartache

no one can heal,

Love leaves a Memory

no one can steal.”

- From a headstone in Ireland –