All about us

Walter Johnston & Sons was established in 1911 as a Funeral Directors and garage. Walter’s two sons, Robert and Lindsay took over from their father with Robert running the garage, leaving Lindsay to run the Funeral Directors. 

When Walter Johnston & Sons first began, Walter Johnston had its own horses, hearses and carriages. They were one of the first funeral homes in Renfrew to acquire a motor fleet just at the turn of the First World War.

“We take great pride in our fleet even to this day we run a fully liveried fleet of Jaguar Daimler hearses and limousines, which are the envy of other funeral providers.”

To this day, Walter Johnston & Sons is still located at the same premises after 100 years and has become something of an institution within the town of Renfrew. The funeral home is located in the historic part of the old town directly behind Renfrew’s magnificent Town Hall.

Although the garage remains next door, it is no longer owned by the Johnston family.

In 2001, Walter Johnston & Sons was merged with J&W Goudie Funeral Directors in Paisley having both remained loyal to the Renfrewshire community. Both are seen to withhold the same values and principles and are very proud of their Renfrewshire heritage.

“Staff at Walter Johnston & Sons are very proud of our heritage and we believe we are the oldest Funeral Directors in the Renfrew area. We have looked after generations of families for over 100 years and will continue to do so for many years to come.”

Both Lindsay Johnston and Hugh Goudie were close friends and shared a very close professional relationship. Both Lindsay and Hugh have since remarked that the Johnston and the Goudie family are delighted that both funeral homes are working closely together again.

Based at Renfrew, Bernadette Coutts continues to arrange a majority of the funerals. Bernadette has given much time to ensure that Walter Johnston & Sons remains an integral part of the local community.

“Walter Johnston & Sons has over the years seen many refurbishments but continues to provide the same level of care, support and professionalism that the community of Renfrew have not only come to expect but deserve.”

Since the passing of both Lindsay and Robert, there have been no members of the Johnston family left in the funeral service, however, the relationship with Walter Johnston continues to remain close.

In December 2009, Walter Johnston & Sons opened a new funeral home in the heart of Erskine and was officially opened by Walter Johnston. The opening was welcomed by the Erskine community and seen as a step forward to “finally having placed the town onto the map as they now had a bank, shopping centre and Funeral Directors.”

Walter Johnston & Sons believe that our ethos of caring combined with professionalism and guidance will endear us to the community and be a valuable asset to the town of Erskine.