In Remembrance of LTC James Rogers Johnston

June 24, 1977 – August 22, 2020


We are sad to report the death of Lieutenant Colonel James Roger Johnston, son of Janet and Jerome Sauber of College Station Texas.

Lieutenant Colonel Johnston went home to Jesus on August 22, 2020 at age 43 while serving in the U.S. Army oversees on assignment to NATO.

James was born on June 24, 1977 in Albuquerque  NM.

After graduating in 1995 with honors from Judson High School in Converse Texas, James attended Texas Tech University where he found his passions in life: his future wife Lori McMillan and service to the U.S. Army.

Upon graduation and completion of the Tech ROTC program, he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant on December 18th, 2000.

Lori and James married on December 22nd, 2000 at First Baptist Church in Plainview Texas and they went on to have 2 daughters, Rileigh Faith (15) and Madeline Grace (13).

James’ first assignment was at Ft. Lewis in the state of Washington where decades earlier, his grandfather had gone for Basic Training before serving in WWII, a connection that they both would treasure.

James was proud to have served 5 Tours of Duty in Iraq(2), Afghanistan, Haiti, and Kuwait and serve as an instructor at the Desert War College at Fort Irwin CA.

He also served with the 82nd Airborne at Ft Bragg, 8th Transportation Brigade at Ft Eustis, held a company command at Ft. Story within the 11th Transportation Battalion and 1st TSC at Ft Knox.

His last posting was his dream position: an assignment to NATO starting with the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy where he was thrilled to bring his family on what he called an “adventure of a lifetime.”

In addition to being a dedicated and loving family man, James also loved riding his Harley, traveling, cooking, and star gazing.

Throughout his life, he held an ever-strengthening faith in God, which he shared with those who surrounded him.

James joins his biological mother Beth Saturn Johnston and his grandparents in Heaven.

He is survived by his wife Lori McMillan Johnston and children Rileigh Faith and Madeline Grace; his parents Janet Sauber and Major Jerome Sauber, DVM (Ret.); his sisters and their families: Heather Sauber; Commander Erin Sauber-Schatz, PhD and Richard Schatz; Laura and Michael Francis; and Elaine Saturn Keys and Eric Keys and brother Keith Saturn; his parents-in-law Susan and Tommy McMillan; brother-in-law and his family Kelsey and Chance McMillan and nephews/nieces: Sydney, Grayson, Bruce, Cameron, Christian, Clara, Lane, and Connor.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to either Samaritan’s Purse: LTC James Johnston Memorial Fund at or Folds of Honor at or by mail at Folds of Honor Department #13 Tulsa OK 74182 in Honor of LTC James Johnston.

There will be a funeral service held at 3:00 p.m. on September 19, 2020 at First Baptist Church (Kornerstone Funeral Home) in Plainview Texas and streaming services will also be available.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13