JOHNSTON, John Richard
"Rich" "Dad" "Gramps" "Hun"
In the early hours of November 26, 2020, Richard Johnston of Huber Heights, passed away at the age of 74. He was born May 27, 1946, in New Harbour, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. Rich was raised in Brooklyn, NY, where he met his future wife and moved to Dayton, OH, in 1971 to marry and start a family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 49 ½ years,
Margaret "Peggy" (Schulze) Johnston; children: Matt
Johnston (Lisa) of Arcanum, OH, Sarah Johnston (Mike Lucero) of Aurora, CO, and Emily Johnston; grandchildren: William and Abigail Johnston, Rana and Emma Lucero. He was preceded in death by his parents; Charles G. Johnston (1955) Marion M. (Mitchell) Johnston (1975) and his 8-month-old brother, who died almost 20 years before Rich was born, Charles G. Johnston Jr. (1927).
Home For The Holidays
At the age of nine, the day before Thanksgiving, Rich stood on the sidewalk in Brooklyn waiting for his father to step off the city bus. Unfortunately, that moment never came and later that Thanksgiving Eve he learned his father had passed away. Rich took on a lot of responsibility at a very young age and made a promise that he would never leave his family without saying goodbye. As a kindhearted, strong willed, intelligent, generous and selfless man of his word he kept that promise. After a near death experience in late October he was gracious enough to rejoin us and although he never recovered, he toughed it out long enough for his family to bid him farewell. All of his children and grandchildren and his loving wife got to see him, touch him, talk to him, tell him how much they loved him and thank him for all he had done. He took his final breaths holding the hands of his wife and youngest daughter. He slipped away to reunite with his own father for that long-awaited Thanksgiving dinner of 1955. He departed this life with plenty of time to prepare his famous turkey gravy and chestnut stuffing, all while most certainly making a mess and telling endless stories to his beloved friends and family members who were patiently awaiting his arrival on the other side.
What happened to you was an injustice, but we will follow in your footsteps. As you always fought for your family, friends and total strangers we will fight for you.
We will never forget the countless cross-country road trips and summers spent camping in Newfoundland or the gatherings at Leo's in St. John's for fish & chips. We are proud to have a touch of Newfoundlander in our genes, a splash of pure maple syrup in our coffee and a snack cabinet full of jam jam's... because never running out of cookies is a good thing - you taught us well.
You were an historian of sorts, a world traveler, an avid book reader with a wealth of knowledge and information. You delved into genealogy, history, geology, archaeology and were the only dad who showed up at school with an actual
dinosaur footprint. You witnessed the rise of the World Trade Center as it was being built, stood before the reflecting pool at the Taj Mahal and explored the castles of Scotland. You climbed with us to the top of The Statue of Liberty and
Empire State Building. You walked with us across the Brooklyn Bridge, took us to Ellis Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, educating us every step of the way. Thank you for sharing your passion for knowledge and travel with us. The memories you left behind cannot be taken away.
At Rich's request, no services will be held. As his final selfless act, his body was donated to The Ohio State University
College of Medicine. He will be cremated and accompanied by his family on his final journey back to Newfoundland.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to Fidelity Home Health and Hospice of Dayton for their care and compassion. Thank you to Dr. Christopher Lauricella and his amazing staff for being such strong patient advocates. A very special thanks to Rich's home health aide, Margaret Gullette, we couldn't have made it through the last few months without you.