Obituary for Michael Johnston
Michael Richard Johnston departed life on August 17, 2017. Michael was born into a loving family on December 9, 1960, to the late James L. Johnston and Ruby V. Stephenson-Johnston. He was the fourth of six children. When he was a child, his sister Stephanie read his favorite book Harold and the purple crayon. As the result of this book, he colored four walls of his bedroom purple. He also loved riding with his older brother,
Eric as a passenger on the bicycle. Michael enjoyed taking things apart, as well as putting them together again. His mechanical nature was evident early on. Michael had a photographic memory, remembering whatever he read, saw, heard or experienced. Later, in his teenage years, he developed a love for the lead guitar, and played for a band named Charisma, in Queens, New York.
Michael attended Benjamin Cardozo High School, in Bayside, Queens, New York. Also, he was a member of the United States Army, he received basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Later, he was a member of the 101st Airborne, at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Babenhausen, West Germany. He was also, a member of the Army Reserve, at Fort Totten, New York. As reservist, he also served in Operation Desert Shield, also known as the gulf war. During his military enlistment, he was a mechanic, and served in various capacities, and received the National Service Award for service in overseas conflict. His final rank was in the Army was Sargent. After military service, Michael saw that the world was turning toward computers and technology. He took a course in computer science, resulting in his employment as an administrative assistant, at a health care facility, as well as a computer help desk specialist at Quest Communications, in Columbus, Ohio. When his company downsized, Michael reassessed his life. When one of his children became ill, he decided to become a stay at home dad, insuring that his children and spouse were all well cared for. He prepared meals, washed as well as pressed the family garments, and transported them to their various appointments.
Michael loved history, music, jazz, and military films. His eldest daughter Patrice, remembers him playing with her and telling her about history, the military, and watching films together. She also remembers that he was very fond of the acapella gospel group Take 6. His daughter Mariah, remembers her dad going with her to band practice, where she played the trumpet. She and Michael also watched history programs, and they listened, as well as talked about Jazz music.
Michael, relied on family far and near during his illness. His former wives, Angela and Gwen, his daughters Patrice and Mariah as well as his sons Andrew and Antoine rallied to his side to assist him as needed. Also, he relied on his mother Ruby, as well as his siblings. Michael gallantly fought his illness for five years. He was a member of the Church Next Door, Columbus, Ohio and Allen AME Church, Jamaica, New York. Michael is loved dearly, and will be missed.
He is survived by his children, Patrice (Eldray), Mariah, Andrew and Antoine, grandchildren, Iniya and Iyona, Cameron and Adrian, former wives, Angela and Gwen, his mother Ruby, his siblings James (Epifania), Belinda Johnston (Bill), Stephanie Edwards (Buddy), Marvin Johnston and Ruby Dee Johnston (Gary), one uncle, David Stuckey, two aunts, Mary Williams, and Martha Freeman, nephews, Jamah, Roy, Marvin, Keith, nieces, Charresse, Sandra, Ebony, Gail, as well as a host of cousins and extended family members.
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