Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Barry Johnston, 70

| March 31, 2024 12:00 AM

Barry Leigh Johnston, also known as "Banker Barry" or "BDB," was born on Jan. 3, 1954, and passed away on Feb. 11, 2024, surrounded by family and friends. Born in Glasgow, he was raised in Fort Peck by his parents Mary and Charles and six siblings: Jim, Chuck, Claudia, Cathy, Mike, and Andy.

Barry financed his college education by alternating between semesters of study and work, never taking out a student loan. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Montana, Missoula, and embarked on a career in corporate banking, starting as a bank examiner with the OCC. His career spanned over 40 years, culminating in his retirement as chief credit officer with Glacier Bancorp after more than two decades of service.

In 1980, Barry married Tooie Luckow and soon had their sons Kyle, Jacob, and Cody. We remember Barry driving long hours on countless road trips, singing terribly to songs he didn’t know, and getting worked up when his boys got unruly in the back. They’d always tell him, “Settle down dad, settle down.” This phrase became a long-running family mantra. Barry had a great sense of humor and used it frequently with his kids. When his son threw a party and broke his rocking chair, Barry told him it was his great-grandmother’s. This son spent many hours and dollars trying to fix it and when Barry sat down it broke again. His son said, “Dad, I am so sorry,” Barry responded, “It’s okay, I bought it on Craigslist for $20 bucks.”

Barry spent much of his free time outdoors: camping, hiking, skiing, fishing, and hunting throughout the Western US, but mostly in Montana. In his later years, he’d deem his hunting trips successful only if he “didn’t get anything.” Barry’s true love of the outdoors wasn’t as much in the woods as it was with his woods—he absolutely loved golfing. Taught how to play when he was 8, his love of the sport was a mainstay throughout his life, and it was a frequent family joke that his sons never really cared for it.

In his later years, he spent time visiting his daughter Meggi and his grandchildren Hattie and Rylie in Idaho. He spent more time outside with his sons: taking them paddle fishing on the Missouri River, shooting sporting clays, bow hunting in The Breaks, and fishing on his boat on Flathead Lake. In the winters, he would head south with his best buddy Clif to visit friends, drink Bud Lights, and of course, golf. Those were good times and great memories we will never forget, and always laugh about.

Barry’s absence leaves a strange void, because we keep thinking he’s still around, and in a way he is. It’s funny the things you end up missing when a loved one goes … but even him getting riled up and yelling at us is something we already miss hearing.

“Settle down dad, settle down.” You deserve it.