YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – John P. Johnston, 85, of Youngstown, Ohio passed away peacefully on Monday, July 17, 2017 in the presence of family at St. Elizabeth’s Health Center.
John was born on September 23, 1931 to Arthur and Helen (Dawson) Johnston in Washington, Pennsylvania.
He spent his formative years in Fremont, West Virginia and Hubbard, Ohio.
During his teen and young adult years John loved to dance.
John was a 1948 graduate of Hubbard High School and attended the Ohio State University studying Chemistry. His education was interrupted by the Korean War. After being drafted by the Army, John was posted state-side in New Jersey and selected to be the personal driver of a Bird Colonel who wanted a driver who could hold an intelligent conversation.
John will be remembered for his ability to master almost every craft he attempted including building U-control gas-powered airplanes, macramé, rock jewelry making, water color painting, charcoal drawing and wine and brandy making. One of his major accomplishments was building a 16-foot gaff-rigged schooner by hand which included hand-planing the main sail mast. “The Journey” was a beautiful boat and he frequently sailed her on numerous area lakes. John loved hunting, fishing and camping and spent much time on local lakes.
John retired from the RJR Nabisco after a 34 year career. After retiring John turned his attention to riding bicycle and balsa wood model airplane building and flying.
His proudest achievement, second only to raising his three children, was his mastery of rubber-band powered balsa wood airplanes. His attention to detail, meticulous building skills and ability to fashion any jig facilitated completion of beautiful pieces of flying art. His building skills were so respected by other master builders that John was asked to demonstrate his building techniques in three videos. Over a building career that spanned well over 20 years, John built hundreds of balsa wood model airplanes and flew his planes in Johnson City, Tennessee, Muncie, Indiana, Kent, Ohio and Geneseo, New York.
John is survived by his two sons, Mark Johnston of Youngstown, Ohio and John Johnston of Fort Wayne, Indiana; daughter, Tammy (Brian) Hartman of Canfield, Ohio; two grandchildren, Ian and Erin Johnston of Fort Wayne; sister, Juanita Eynon of Austintown, Ohio; several nieces and nephews and dog, Stella.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Helen; brother, Bill Johnston; sister-in-law, Agnes Johnston; daughter-in-law, Anita (Neff) Johnston; ex-wife, Elizabeth “Liz” Johnston (Emanuel) and dogs, Buster, Chaz and Fallon.
No services or viewings will be held.
Arrangements are being handled by the Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Austintown Chapel.