Joseph W. Johnston


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Beverly - Joseph W. Johnston, 91, of Vestry Street, Beverly, and husband of the late Mildred E. (Brown) Johnston, died early Monday, March 25, 2019, in the Kaplan Family Hospice House, Danvers, following his brief illness.
Born in Lipscomb, Ala., on August 29, 1927, he was the son of the late Joseph W. and Opal S. (Tennyson) Johnston. A graduate of public schools, he entered the Navy and served in the Atlantic Reserve Fleet nearing the end of WWII. The Johnstons married in 1977 and made their home on Vestry Street. For 15 or more years Joe was employed as a sales representative for Borden Foods. Most recently and for 40-plus years he was employed as a security officer at Mass. General Hospital from which he retired.
Joe enjoyed building and flying kites, participating as a clown during the Shriner events and perhaps most of all loved playing the harmonica, having won a Grand Championship in 1975 on Community Auditions.
He was a longtime member of the First Universalist Church of Essex, A.P. Gardner American Legion Post in Hamilton, Topsfield Grange and Shriners Lodge.
He is survived by two sons, Kevin J. Johnston and his wife Ruth A. of Wakefield, and Brian M. Johnston and his wife Marie of Stoneham; three grandchildren, Kimberly Minor and husband Christopher of Lynnfield, and Brianna and Catrina Johnston both of Stoneham; and two great-grandchildren, Victoria and Connor Minor. He was the grandfather of the late Eric Johnston formerly of Wakefield.
His funeral service will be Thursday, March 28, 2019, at 12 p.m., following visiting hours from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High Street, Ipswich. Family and friends are cordially welcomed. Interment with military honors will be in the Spring Street Cemetery, Essex. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in his name may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation, 309 Waverley Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452. For directions and or to leave a condolence, please visit
Published on March 26, 2019
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