DIANE JOHNSTON PATON
Diane Johnston Paton of East Hampton, New York passed peacefully on October 25, 2022, at Southampton Hospital, of Covid Pneumonia. She was the granddaughter of two distinguished Kentuckians; Percy Hampton Johnston, distinguished banker, and John George Stoll, noted publisher.
She is survived by her loving husband of 37 years, David Paton, MD; son James Stoll Beardmore (Cynthia Horton, MD) of Kalaheo, Kauai, Hawaii; daughter Lauren Beardmore Ivanhoe (Brian Jay Ivanhoe) of North Salem, NY; granddaughter Beylie Johnston Ivanhoe; two brothers Donald Lewis Johnston and Stanton Harvey Johnston of Honolulu, Hawaii; and stepbrother John R. Desha of Salt Lake City, UT.
In addition, she is survived by stepchildren Diane Beardmore Dahlberg, Cindy Beardmore Sydow, David Townley Paton, William Vail Brokaw, Jr., Edward Shea Brokaw, Bayard Field Brokaw, Timothy Morrison Brokaw, and Elise Gould Brokaw.
She was preceded in death by her brothers David Hampton Johnston, Stephen Scott Johnston, and stepsister Mary Lou Briscoe Carter.
Born in Montclair, NJ, she lived in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Lexington, Kentucky, returning to Hawaii at the end of World War II. As a young mother, she devoted time to volunteer work, including serving as President of the Junior League of Honolulu, and as a member of the Garden Club of Honolulu. Her political career began with the campaign for Sam King for Governor against longtime incumbent John Burns.
Moving to New York in 1971, she served as Director of the Financial Office for the failed candidacy of Gerald R. Ford. Her talents were observed by James A. Baker and George H. W. Bush which led to assignments by the Republican National Committee during the Carter administration. She subsequently worked for James A. Baker, Transition Team Chief of Staff to Ronald Reagan, and ultimate Chief of Staff in the White House. Following other positions, she was appointed Executive Director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities for three administrations.
She served as Vice Chairman of the Board of the Institute of International Education. She married David Paton, MD in 1985 and soon thereafter moved full time to East Hampton, NY, and became fully engaged in community projects, including as President of the Garden Club of East Hampton, and Founder of the esteemed Sundays At Six lecture series at the Maidstone Club.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Garden Club of East Hampton, NY, or the Institute of International Education, NY, NY.
Celebrations of Life will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii on January 3, 2023, and in Lexington, Kentucky in October 2023.
A private gathering was held in East Hampton on October 29, 2022.