John "Jack" Johnston passed away on Thursday, January 2, 2020 “just eleven years short of 100.” His quiet and intensely private demeanor housed a wry sense of humor that only those he really knew were able to experience. He was a gentle man who especially enjoyed the outdoors, walking, mowing the lawn, eating ice cream, taking a drive and following his favorite Red Sox baseball team and the Connecticut Huskies Women’s basketball team. As a youngster he played third base for local legion teams but more importantly was a member of the 1943 Champion Holyoke Hitless Wonders. As winners of the Daily News Tournament, the team was treated to an unforgettable train trip to Yankee Stadium, on Sunday, September 26, 1943, where Jack won a long treasured, autographed Yankees baseball. Many years later, he played for his base team in Erding, Germany, while serving in the United States Air Force. After marrying Colleen, who he met on a hike at “the Notch’, the two of them explored the US and foreign countries, sharing their love of adventure to new and different places. They did two week walks in Ireland and Scotland and Maine; took three river cruises: one on the Great Rivers of Europe and two on the Mississippi River, going from Nashville to Pittsburgh; cheered at baseball games in twenty-one different Major League ballparks (out of a total of 31 that exist); watched the UConn Huskies win the 2009 Final Four in St. Louis, Mo.; visited Spain, Portugal, Martinique, Costa Rica, Italy, Aruba, Iceland and several parts of Canada; went to Alaska and Hawaii and many states in between. In March 2018 they spent a week in Fort Myers, Florida interacting with the Red Sox team and staff during Spring Training. The majority of Jack’s work life was spent at the Holyoke Water Power Company as an Engineering Assistant and Surveyor. He also maintained a private business doing Land Court and other surveys as he was registered in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. He attended the University of Massachusetts Extension and Western New England College. Jack is survived by his loving wife Colleen (Corcoran) Johnston; step-daughter and caregiver Kathleen M. Fisher, cousin Laurie Fales of Lexington, MA; and a niece, Rosemary Johnston Zipf and her husband Brian of Staten Island, NY. He was predeceased by his siblings William, Robert, and Janet Johnston. A Committal Service with Military Honors will be held at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Wednesday January 8 at 10:00am. Memorial gifts may be made to: Macular Degeneration Research, 22512 Gateway Center, Clarksburg, MD 20871
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