John (“Johnny”) Fredrick Johnston was born in Oakland, California in 1942. The second oldest of four brothers born to Alice King and Richmond L. Johnston, he was raised in Sacramento, California. He is survived by his brothers Richmond (Sheree) and Timothy (Jackie), and was preceded in death by his brother Rorke.
Johnny met Sharon Lee Pope in Sacramento in 1960 when he was just 18. They married on July 3, 1966, at All Hallows Church. Their oldest son Todd was born in 1968 and their youngest son Mark was born in 1970. The next year Johnny and Sharon bought their first house, which has remained their home ever since. For 60 years, Johnny and Sharon loved each other and raised two wonderful sons, Todd (Cathy) and Mark (Mia). Johnny instilled in his sons a love of Christ, learning, and hard work. Johnny will be fondly remembered as a kind, generous, humorous, and loving grandfather by his five grandchildren, Sydney (Houston), Olivia, Deven, Colin, and Kirra. Johnny enjoyed spending time with his wife, sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren. He especially loved being at their second home in Dillon Beach with his beloved Sharon and their dog, Luke.
Johnny attended his beloved All Hallows Grammar School and Bishop Armstrong High School, now known as Christian Brothers, where he also sent his sons. Johnny was a lifetime student with an insatiable appetite for learning, and earned an Associate Degree from City College of Sacramento, a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of San Francisco (USF), studied law at USF for two years, and earned a Master of Business Administration from Cal Berkley.
Johnny’s first job out of college was at Weinstocks as a women’s clothing buyer, which allowed him to access to his other lifelong passion, travel. Johnny traveled extensively while at Weinstocks to New York, Japan, and throughout Europe.
After leaving Weinstocks, he ran Harold’s Plumbing chain for five years and, on April 1, 1980, he and his youngest brother, Tim, opened Brothers Plumbing and Electrical store, which still thrives 40 years later. At Brothers Plumbing, Johnny gave many, many people their first job, and most were Todd and Mark’s friends. Todd and Mark loved working with their dad at Brothers Plumbing and learned the value of hard work, honesty, and generosity.
Johnny maintained his close association with Christian Brothers High School, was active in their alumni association, fund raising to improve the school and provide scholarships to underprivileged and minority students. He was also an active member of AA for 45 years, where he mentored countless people in their sobriety and impacted their lives for the better.
Johnny has left us far too soon. While there is no sorry for those who, like Johnny, die in the Lord, he is sorely missed by his wife, family, friends, and those who knew and loved him. That number includes anyone who ever met this remarkable and generous man of faith. Johnny is survived by Sharon, two children, and five grandchildren. He will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the St. John’s Shelter for Women and Children in Sacramento.
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