Cover photo for Barbara Jo (Stepp)  Johnston's Obituary
Barbara Jo (Stepp)  Johnston Profile Photo
1943 Barbara 2022

Barbara Jo (Stepp) Johnston

August 13, 1943 — June 26, 2022

Barbara Jo (Stepp) Johnston was born on August 13, 1943 in Dallas, Texas, to Georgia Mae (Hicks) Stepp and Henry Grady Stepp. She graduated from Bryan Adams High School in 1961 and went on to attend Baylor University from 1961 to 1963. She met Bob Johnston two days before he graduated from Baylor in 1962 and they were married ten months later (March 23, 1963).

After the wedding, they moved to Lajes Field Air Force Base, Azores Islands, Portugal. Their son, Glenn Austin, was born during this time. Bob’s second assignment was at Andrews AFB, Presidential Wing in Washington DC. After leaving the military in February of 1968, they moved to Richardson, Texas where Barbara taught kindergarten. In 1973, they moved to San Marcos and Barbara completed her elementary education degree at Southwest Texas University (now Texas State).

In 1975, the family moved to Harlingen and Barbara began a 29-year career as a 4th Grade teacher at Bonham Elementary. In 1985, Barbara received a Master’s Degree from Pan American University (now UTRGV). Barbara retired from Harlingen CISD in December 2003 to help in the family mortgage business.

Barbara and Bob started their business, AutoEtcNeon in 1987. For 30 years, they designed and marketed unique products for automotive enthusiasts with licenses from Ford and General Motors. These products included neon signs, clocks, mirrors and fine jewelry. Barbara was always proud that their items were “Made in the USA”. The business allowed them to attend and promote their products at major Corvette and Mustang shows throughout the country. This gave them the opportunity to see and enjoy many places throughout the country.

Barbara was initiated into membership in The Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an honorary teacher’s society, in 1987. She served as co-chairperson/steering committee of three State Conventions, an International Convention, Area Coordinator, and State Chairman of four committees. She was a member of various committees plus being active in her local chapter, Lambda Eta Chapter. She was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Harlingen where she was a leader in the Women’s Ministry and on the Calvary Christian School Board.

Barbara is preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Robert E. “Bob” Johnston; son, Glenn Austin Johnston; parents, Henry G. and Georgia M. Stepp; and brother-in-law, Vernon “Tip” Johnston, Jr.

She is survived by her cousins, Randy (Norie) Hicks and Rusty Hicks; sisters-in-law, Ann Johnston and Nancy (David) Long; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Friday, July 1, 2022 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home. Committal and interment will take place Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. at Mont Meta Memorial Park. A celebration of Barbara’s life and of God’s faithfulness will follow at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Baptist Church of Harlingen.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Church of Harlingen, the Glenn Austin Johnston Film and Digital Media Endowed Scholarship, the Robert E. & G. Austin Johnston Hankamer School of Business Endowed Scholarship, the Robert E. & Barbara Jo Johnston Endowed Scholarship, the Barbara Jo and Robert E. Johnston Endowed Scholarship, or the Baylor School of Education. (Contact: Baylor University, Development Office, One Bear Place #97026, Waco, TX 76798-7026)

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Barbara Jo (Stepp) Johnston, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, July 1, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Buck Ashcraft San Benito Funeral Home, Chapel B

1400 West Business 77, San Benito, TX 78586

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, July 2, 2022

Starts at 9:00 am (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Calvary Baptist Church

, Harlingen, TX 78550

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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