Rest in Peace: Alison Hunter Johnston

Alison Hunter Johnston

Alison Hunter Johnston passed away on Thursday, March 29th, following a series of health challenges in the last year.

Known as “Ali,” she lived life to the fullest. She married Richard “Dick” Johnston in 1989, and spent the last 28 years traveling the world; enjoying the opera, symphony, and ballet; playing tennis; and donating her time to charitable causes.

She loved a hearty debate and an evening gin and tonic. She was the warmest of smiles and a sage counsel to her friends and family, and shone a bright, vibrant light into the lives of others.

Ali was born Jane Alison Hunter on November 10, 1936 to Coralyn Moore and William Winne Hunter.

She attended Badger High School in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, then DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

After college, she worked at the advertising firm of McCann Erickson until her marriage in 1957 to William “Bill” Wrigley.

During her years in the Chicago area, she was not only a hands-on mom, but also an active volunteer for several charitable causes, including Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital and the Chicago Boys Club, where she served as President of the Women’s Board.

She was also a soloist at the First Church of Christ Scientist in Lake Geneva, a life member of the Woman’s Athletic Club of Chicago, and an avid Chicago Cubs fan.

In 1973, Ali moved to Paradise Valley, Arizona, with her three children, and continued to focus on being front-and-center for her kids, which involved memorable “mandatory educational” trips, fun adventures, large quantities of chocolate chip cookie dough that never made it to the oven, and butter wars. She also found time to become a member of the Board of Directors of St. Joseph’s Hospital and a founding member of ARCS (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Foundation, among other activities and philanthropies.

One of Ali’s passions was playing tennis, which proved to be fortuitous as she was introduced to Dick through a group of tennis players, to which they both belonged. Dick and Ali both particularly loved Catalina Island, and were never happier than when they were on the beach, in or near the ocean.

Ali is survived by her husband, Richard Johnston; her children, Alison Wrigley Rusack (Geoff), Phil Wrigley (Marilyn), Beau Wrigley, Chris Johnston (Jennifer), Ted Johnston (Natalie), Peter Johnston (Laurie) and seventeen grandchildren.

A memorial service for Ali will be held on May 5, 2018 at 1 p.m. at Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Catalina Island Conservancy, Principia College or the ARCS Foundation (Achievement Rewards for College Scientists) Inc.