Rick Johnston loved his faith, his family, and his community. He dedicated a life of service to loved ones and strangers alike, always putting others above self. When he drew his last breath he left us knowing at least three things . . . that he was loved and wanted and needed by a family that cherished him . . . and as hard as it was to say goodbye he would also tell you that he died the luckiest man on earth to have had them in his life.
Mr. Richard H. ‘Rick’ Johnston, of Marlborough, died Monday, April 24, 2023 at his home. He was 63.
Rick was born in East Cleveland, Ohio on March 7, 1960, a son of Nancy (Brown) Johnston of Poinciana, Florida and the late Thomas D. Johnston, IV. Raised in Ohio, it was only after he married his college “sweetie” and love of his life, Cheryl A. Robbins in October of 1985, he moved to Massachusetts where they would raise their family.
Rick graduated from Walsh Jesuit High School in Stowe, Ohio. He earned a bachelor of technology degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology and continued his studies at Northeastern University in Boston, earning a second bachelor’s degree in science. He had worked as a mechanical engineer with General Dynamics, formerly known as GTE Government Systems, for twenty-six years.
Rick was a lifelong learner; he enjoyed keeping up with the news, making lists, and always had deep theory discussions with his children. He was overjoyed to become a grandfather this coming August and was so looking forward to welcoming his first grandchild, Riker Thomas McCuen. In addition to his great love of family he was an avid fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, and enjoyed Fantasy Football each season.
He was called to serve Jesus and His Church from a young age and never wavered. He was a long time member of the Deaf Catholic Community, presently serving at Saint Jude Parish in Waltham as a lector and Eucharistic minister. In addition he was a volunteer at the College of the Holy Cross Deaf Catholic Archives, a substitute teacher for The Learning Center for the Deaf, and a member of the International Catholic Deaf Association-US Section (ICDA-US).
Most recently he had been studying to become a deacon through the Archdiocese of Boston Diaconate Program. He was one year shy of his ordination.
In addition to his father, the late Thomas D. Johnston, IV, he is reunited in Heaven with his father-in-law, the late Richard J. Robbins.
Rick leaves his beloved wife of more than 37 years, Cheryl A. (Robbins) Johnston; his children, Stephanie Johnston of Queens, New York, Michael Johnston of Marlborough, Amy McCuen and her husband, Shane McCuen, of Auburn; his mother, Nancy (Brown) Johnston of Poinciana, Florida; his siblings, Dr. Tom Johnston V and his wife, Ann, of Wisconsin, David Johnston and his wife, Jeanne, of Florida, Sue Johnston of Poinciana, Florida and Kate Johnston- Legg and her husband, Jeff, of Wilmette, Illinois; his mother-in-law, Muriel Coutu Robbins Gilmartin of Greenfield; his brother-in-law, Chuck Robbins and his wife, Lisa, of Greenfield; and many nieces and nephews and their families, including Sarah Robbins Canepari, Mary Johnston, Kendall Johnston-Legg, Lucy Johnston, Dr. Thomas Johnston VI, Christopher Robbins, Andrew Johnston, and Philip Johnston. He also leaves his canine companions, his 'granddogs,' Koda, Joy, and Crumby.
Family and friends will honor and remember Rick’s life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20) Waltham on Friday, April 28th from 4 to 7 p.m. and again Saturday morning at 10 a.m. in Saint Jude Church, 147 Main Street, Waltham where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated. Burial will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to the Office of the Deaf Apostolate, c/o Saint Jude Church, 147 Main Street, Waltham, Massachusetts 02453, or online at https://saintjudewaltham.org/giving
Rick’s Funeral Mass will be broadcast at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning on the Saint Jude Parish website, https://saintjudewaltham.org/
; click on the Streaming tab to watch.
Requiescat in Pace.