James “Jim” G. Johnston, 98, of Keene, and a former resident of Westmoreland, died of natural causes on Monday, April 29, 2019. Jim passed peacefully in the comfort of his home, surrounded by loving family and the compassionate staff of American House, where he resided for the past 18 months.
The son of Bridget (Woods) and James Johnston, both Irish immigrants, he was born on September 19, 1920 in Brooklyn, New York. He was raised in Long Island and attended Ozone Park High School. James left school after the eleventh grade to enlist in the U.S. Army just before the outbreak of World War II. He served as an engineer and was honorably discharged at the end of the war. After the army, he worked as a surveyor in New York City.
With his wife and five small children, he moved to New Hampshire in 1960. He owned and operated the Yankee Traveler Motel in Westmoreland for several years. Later, he worked as an assembler at Kingsbury Machine Tool Corporation in Keene before retiring in 1985.
Upon retirement, he became a long-time volunteer at Cheshire Medical Center where he made many friends, especially the nurses of the PACU. He enjoyed watching birds and cultivating his flower and vegetable gardens. Because of his war experience, Jim became a pacifist. He could be found every Saturday morning in Central Square at the Keene Peace Vigil. His last clearly spoken words were, ‘No more war.’
Jim is survived by his children: Eileen Carbone of The Villages, Florida, James P. Johnston of Mexico City, Nan Johnston of Pacific Grove, California., Thomas Johnston of Wasilla, Alaska, Katherine Barnes of Manchester, N.H., and Karen and Jeff Luebkeman of Marlborough, N.H. as well as numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, Richard, his former wife, Muriel Johnston, and his cherished companion of more than 35 years, Caroline Davis.
In keeping with his wishes, you are invited to join the Keene Peace Vigil in Central Square on May 4 from 11am utill noon. A graveside service will be held on Monday, May 6, 2019 at 11am. at Spofford Village Cemetery, High St. Spofford, N.H.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in memory of James G. Johnston to: Keene Peace Vigil, c/o Jackie Cleary, 138 Esty Road, Westmoreland, NH 03467. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com