Johnston, John Albert "Jack" 91, of Deephaven, MN, passed away on Sunday, May 12, at Methodist Hospital surrounded by family. He entered home hospice care in January 2022 and graduated in June 2022, blessing us with two bonus years together. Jack was born on November 9, 1932, to Dorrance and Eudora (Fox) Johnston in Warroad, MN. His father was a commercial fisherman and mink rancher, his mother was a nurse. He attended Warroad public schools and graduated from Warroad High School in 1950, then studied at the University of Minnesota, his father's alma mater, graduating in 1955 with a degree in Chemistry. Jack's first job was as a chemist at Rayette and it was at a monthly birthday lunch in the summer of 1956 that he met Rita Ross. Jack recalled that he knew that with the college degree also came, eventually, a draft notice, and he served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps from 1956 to 1958. He proposed to Rita while he was in the service, and they were married on August 8, 1959. Jack and Rita settled in Deephaven in 1959, lived in three different homes there over the next 64 years, and had four children who grew up there: Louis (Susan Riley), Christopher, Jennifer, and Mark. Jack worked for Cargill from 1959 to 1998, managing the Grain Research Laboratory, working as a Grain Division Safety and Environmental Officer, and finally as a Corporate Research Department Facility manager. He worked as a laboratory and facility construction consultant for another ten years after retiring from Cargill. Jack was an enthusiastic volunteer, from YMCA activities, caring for the baseball fields at Bennett Park, counting collections and serving on the school board at St. Therese Parish, to joining in with fellow retirees from Cargill. He was always there to help kids, grandkids, nieces, and nephews with anything that needed fixing, painting, adjusting, or assembling. His love of music (especially Johann Strauss and Gilbert and Sullivan) was legendary, as he collected hundreds of records and CDs, played the piano, and attended dozens of concerts over the years. Jack and Rita and were passionate about travel, so they flew, drove, and cruised everywhere they could, touching every ocean and continent except Antarctica. He always enjoyed walking with Rita, and for 18 years their Jack Russell terrier, Caesar, joined them. Jack loved reading Civil War volumes, biographies, and the daily newspaper. Finally, Jack appreciated Saab automobiles more than anyone else. For over 50 years, starting in 1961, a parade of Saabs rolled through his garages, including every model from the 93 through the 95. Coupes, sedans, station wagons, turbos, convertibles, every car Saab produced. He drove them, ripped them apart, put them together, then drove them some more. All his children each owned at least one Saab over the years, thanks to dad. Jack was predeceased by his parents, his brothers (and their spouses) Albert (Linda) and David (Karin) Johnston, his granddaughter Mia Penny, his sister-in-law Carolyn Buntrock and his brother-in-law Frank Marvin. He is survived by his wife, children, his sister Marg Marvin, and his grandchildren: Grace Gudrun Gibbs (Max), Olivia Johnston Riley, John Johnston, Noah Penny, and Andrew Penny. Services will be held at St. Therese Church in Deephaven, MN, on Thursday, May 23, 2024. Visitation at 10 am and Mass at 11 am. In memory of Jack, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ICA Food Shelf or the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Huber Funeral Home & Cremations Excelsior Chapel 952-474-9595

Published on May 19, 2024