Michael Johnston passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on January 30th at his home in New Jersey at the age of 85. He was a loving husband, father, grandad, co-worker, mentor and friend to a wide circle of family, friends and colleagues.
Mike was born and raised in Kansas and Missouri, and lived in New Jersey for the past 56 years. The son of Harold and Mary Johnston, and brother to Joan and James, Mike attended Kansas University and Harvard Business School. He served for two years of active duty as a lieutenant in the Army.
He married his high school sweetheart, Mary Bennett, in 1960, and called her his “greatest inspiration.” They raised their children Ginny and Dan in Summit NJ. After settling in New Jersey, he enjoyed a 40+year career with several financial firms in New York City, including Paine Webber and Capital Group. Mike focused on investment research and financial trends. He traveled the world attending conferences and giving speeches on these topics and how they intersect with politics, economics and foreign policy.
Mike served on the boards of various institutions over many years – most recently with Claremont Graduate University, The New School and Union Theological Seminary. He and Mary were very philanthropic and supported many organizations including those in the areas of education, the environment, democratic principles, underserved children, and the arts. Mike was a life-long practicing Catholic, and his faith was very important to him. He was passionate about working out and running, and completed 41 marathons. He also enjoyed outdoor activities such as biking, swimming and hiking. He loved the challenge of climbing the highest peaks of Colorado and even the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. He and Mary had the good fortune to travel the world, and they invited family on various trips, including to many national parks. They loved spending vacation time in Snowmass and Aspen, Colorado. Mike had a love of unique collectible cars, was a life-long dog owner, and enjoyed playing the part of Santa at the LifeCamp holiday party for over 20 years.
Mike is survived by his daughter and son-in-law Virginia Johnston and Dan Crisci of Maplewood NJ; his son and daughter-in-law Dan and Brenda Johnston of Rock Hill, South Carolina; his brother James Johnston of Bethesda, Maryland; brother-in-law and sister-in-law David and Judy Bennett; six grandchildren – Ashley, Bennett, Amber and Jamesley Johnston, and Dustin and Nathan Crisci - as well as nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mike’s memory may be made to LifeCamp (Morristown NJ) and The Raptor Trust (Millington NJ).
A Memorial Mass will be held at 1pm on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at St Brigid Church, 129 Main Street, Peapack, NJ. Military Honors to follow mass.