John G. Johnston, 96, of Russell, MA passed away on July 13, 2022 at Renaissance Manor in Holyoke, MA after a brief illness. Best known as “Jack” by his family and friends, he was surrounded by the care and comfort of his loving family.
Born in Holyoke on September 18, 1925, Jack was the beloved son of the late George B. and Jane D. (Mathieson) Johnston. He was predeceased by his wife of 65 years, Patricia G. (O’Connell) Johnston. He leaves behind his two adoring children, Mark W. Johnston of Russell, MA and Carolyn M. Johnston of Narragansett, RI. He also leaves behind his sister Charlotte A. (Johnston) Strong of Holyoke, MA as well as many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Jack grew up in Holyoke and graduated from Holyoke High School. He then enlisted in the armed services and spent two years in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II where he remained stateside pursuing pilot training and receiving remote-control turret gunner and pistol marksman certifications. Following his military service, he returned to Holyoke and married Patricia G. O’Connell. They briefly lived in Hartford, CT and then settled in Chicopee, where they resided for over 60 years. After the loss of his wife, he moved in with his son Mark in Russell, MA where he spent the remainder of his life.
Jack’s early career included working in East Hartford, CT at Pratt and Whitney. He then went back to his roots in Holyoke, MA where he held numerous positions at Hampden Glazed Paper and Card Company for 38 years. Some of his roles included Production Manager, Sales Manager, and Director of Product Development.
Jack will always be remembered for his boundless energy, his enthusiasm and zest for life, his quick wit and great sense of humor, his strong identification with his Scottish heritage, his love of music, his passion for golfing, his enjoyment of travel, and his loving support of family and friends. Over the years, he had many interests and achievements including being the youngest piper in the Holyoke Caledonian Kiltie Band, taking lessons and mastering playing the organ, and belonging to the Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley, MA where he played golf three times per week for over 30 years. He was an avid collector and really enjoyed his coin, stamp, insulator, and gun collections. He loved to travel with his wife and family to his many favorite destinations including Great Britain, San Francisco, Bermuda, Cape Cod, and Florida.
Funeral services and a celebration of Jack’s life will take place with military honors on Friday, August 5, 2022 at St. Jerome Cemetery in Holyoke, MA. Information will be shared directly with family and friends when arrangements have been finalized.