Donald H. Johnston, Jr.

Don was born in Drexel Hill, PA.  He graduated from Georgetown Prep and after one year at Villanova he entered the Naval Academy.  Don was on varsity crew, following in the footsteps of his father, class of ’22, who won an Olympic Gold Medal in rowing.


Following tours in NEW (DDE 818) and LONG BEACH (CGN 9), Don entered MIT where he earned graduate degrees in both marine engineering and naval architecture.  After duty at Charleston Naval Shipyard, he was assigned as Chief Engineer on FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT (CVA 12).  He then had tours on the staffs of the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Newport News and COMNAVAIRLANT.  His final tour was as the Supervisor of Shipbuilding, Jacksonville, FL.  Don retired as a Captain in 1982, and worked briefly with a Navy contractor before turning to teaching high school physics and calculus for nine years.


Don married Olive MacDonald in August 1961, after having met on a blind date.  Don earned a reputation for helping anyone, anytime, with the application of his handyman skills.  He helped build a Catholic Church in Lake Gaston, NC, near the family vacation home.  While teaching, he would tutor anyone who needed help.  He loved to be with his grandchildren, one of whom stated that he was “a true captain for them and his own children”.


Don died on 21 August 2005.  He is survived by Olive, his wife of 44 years, sons Tom and Keith, daughters Noreen, Katherine and Allison, and eleven grandchildren.  Olive remains in their home of many years in Hampton, VA.