Folsom Funeral Service

Johnstone, Richard C.

Richard Carlton Johnstone, a resident of Nashua, New Hampshire for the past 14 years, and formerly of Walpole, and Dedham, died Saturday, January 24th, 2009 at St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua, New Hampshire.  He was 86.  Dick was born August 13, 1922 in Waltham, Massachusetts, the only child of James and Erna (Bergesen) Johnstone.  He grew up in Waltham and graduated from Waltham High School with the Class of 1940.  He was the captain of the football team at Waltham High and later was elected to the Waltham High School Football Hall of Fame.  Dick graduated from Bowdoin College where he was a member of the Zeta Psi Fraternity and where he was the captain of both the football and baseball teams.  He was the All State Quarterback at Bowdoin in 1942.  Dick was also proud of the fact that he served for 10 consecutive years as the President of his Class, starting in Junior High School and continuing through High School and College.  In August of 1942 he entered the United States Marine Corps and began active service on August 11, 1943.  He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal by the Secretary of the Navy on behalf of the President.  His citation reads “For heroic achievement as a Mortar Section Leader and later as an an Acting Assault Platoon Leader of the Third Battalion, Twenty-seventh Marines, Fifth Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Iwo Jima, Volcano Islands, from 19 February, to 23 March 1945.  When the leader of an assault platoon was killed during an attack on 13 March and the platoon became badly disorganized, Second Lieutenant Johnstone reorganized the men into an efficient fighting unit and immediately pushed forward in a successful attack upon a series of stubbornly defended and mutually supported cave positions.  On 17 March, after a reorganization of the battalion, he again volunteered to lead a new platoon in an attack against the last pocket of enemy resistance on the Island.  By his courageous fighting spirit and devotion to duty throughout, he contributed materially to the success of his Battalion during the operation and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.”  Dick ended his active service with the Marines on June 21, 1946 and was honorably discharged from the US Marine Corps Reserve s a 1st Lieutenant on October 19, 1949.  After World War Two he worked for the New England Telephone Company for 40 years, rising to the position of Division Sales Manager.  He retired in 1987.  Dick was an active member of the Allin Congregational Church in Dedham, where he served in several capacities including Sunday School Teacher, Church Deacon, and Chairman of the Stewardship Committee.  He was also a member of the Bowdoin Club of Boston, a former member of the Winchester Rotary Club, a Corporator of the Dedham Institute of Savings, and a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America.  He and his wife enjoyed twenty-seven years of retirement in Nashua, New Hampshire, and Siesta Key, Florida.  Dick was known for his friendly and outgoing personality, sense of humor, and loyal friendship by his many friends and business associates.  A loving family man, Dick’s gentle and supportive nature will be sorely missed by his beloved wife, Marion (whom he began dating when they were both thirteen, and to whom he was married for sixty four years); his daughter Jo Ann, and her husband Larrry Vitali of Nashua, New Hampshire; his son, Rick, and his wife Kathy Johnstone of Merrimac, New Hampshire; his grandchildren, Lauren, and her husband Sasha Sobol, Steve, and his wife Susanna Vitali, and Jeff Johnstone; and his great grandchildren Ela and Alex Sobol, and Anna Vitali.  He was the father of the late Rob Johnstone.  Dick, Dad, Bumpa; we all miss you so very much.  Visiting hours will be held Wednesday, January 28th from 6-8 PM at the Folsom Funeral Home, 87 Milton Street, Dedham.  Dick’s funeral will be held Thursday at 11 AM at the Allin Congregational Church, 683 High Street, Dedham.  Private interment will be in Mt Feake Cemetery in Waltham.

Guestbook Entries

  1. John Maguire
    January 26th, 2009 | 5:58 pm

    I offer my sincere condolences to Dick’s family. Dick was a wonderful friend and a great boss and will certainly be missed by all. I will keep Dick and his family in my thoughts and prayers.

  2. Brendon Healey
    January 27th, 2009 | 1:03 pm

    His obituary appropriately describes the outstanding life that Dick led. Truly an American hero. He lived the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fedelis, (always faithful) for his entire life. It was an honor to know him as a friend, compatriot in NET&T, and fellow Marine. God Bless him, Marion and family. Semper Fi, Dick

  3. katie pecola
    January 27th, 2009 | 4:57 pm

    ricky kathy and jeff , i am so sorry for your loss i know you all have had a rough year just know we are all here for you i am thining about you guys and love you all so much
    marion,i am so sorry for your loss he was a wonderful man you are in my thoughts and prayers

  4. Bob and Sue Nethercote
    January 27th, 2009 | 6:35 pm

    We send all our love and prayers to Marion, Joanne and Rick. Dick was the kindest person who always had a spectacular smile, a funny story and the best hugs. We felt that we never saw enough of all of your family. How blessed you are to have had the best husband and father. We are so sorry we can`t be with you tomorrow. We will be with you in our hearts. With much love, Sue and bob

  5. Jim Willwerth
    January 28th, 2009 | 2:45 pm

    Marion and Family,

    Please accept our sympathy on the death of Dick.He was and old and dear friend and mentor for over 40 years.His bright smile always lit up the room when he arrived.
    Sadly, due to the storm, we will be unable to join you for the wake and funeral but he will be in our prayers.
    Our best to you and your family.

    Jim and Mary Willwerth
    Westborough, Ma

  6. Jim Willwerth
    January 28th, 2009 | 2:53 pm

    Marion and Family,
    Please accept our sympathy. Dick was an old and dear friend and mentor for over 40 years. His bright smile always lit up the room when he arrived. May he rest in peace. Jim and Mary.

  7. January 28th, 2009 | 3:33 pm

    To the wonderful Johnstone Family:
    With the most sincere thoughts and prayers for all of you. We remember Dick so fondly. He and Marion were dear friends of my parents, Jan and Ron MacArthur. He and Marion have been so great to my mom since Dad passed away 4 years ago. Not the ladies must carry on! Whether Dick was talking about Waltham High Reunions, his children and grandchildren, Siesta Key sunsets, games of Scat, or sharing stories over cocktails, we will always remember his wonderful smile and laugh. May all the good memories carry you through this difficult time. Much love, Sue

  8. Susan Maguire (daughter of John)
    January 29th, 2009 | 5:06 pm

    “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
    Alexander Graham Bell
    1847 — 1922

    Dick was prepared and successful in all aspects of his life. He was successful in his schooling, in his service to his country and in the relationships he developed in his family, friends and his work life at NET. Dick was one special guy – he treated his team at NET like gold. He was the best boss I ever had at NET. I will miss Dick.

  9. January 30th, 2009 | 6:10 pm

    Dick Johnstone was one of the finest gentlemen that I have ever had the pleasure of working for or knowing. No man was below him, he made you feel special. Marion, I still cherish the Memories of the Lunch we had on Siesta Key, I only wish that I had stayed in touch. He was able to “Take the time to smell the Flowers” He is in my Prayers.
    Bob Ashley

  10. The Fowler Family (Keith, Joan, Kaitlyn & Brett)
    January 31st, 2009 | 7:56 am

    With Mr. J being one of my dad’s closest friends, it’s hard to see another one of the good ones pass. I was always amazed that even when in pain, he never seemed to complain, and was always there to help my dad. My dad was always proud to pass on the journal that Mr. J had put together about his amazing experience at war. A common thread with my dad (retired Air Force) combined with the fraternity of those who worked for the “phone company” never ceases to amaze me and may never be duplicated. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnstone family.

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