C. Jay Johnston, 91, of Sackets Harbor

Published: Jun. 5, 2021 at 3:33 PM EDT
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SACKETS HARBOR, N.Y. (WWNY) - C. Jay Johnston, 91, a beloved husband, father, and educator, passed away peacefully in his home in Sackets Harbor on June 2.

C. Jay was born on July 12, 1929 in Avondale, PA, son of Charles A. Johnston and Frances O. (Hoopes) Ivins. C. Jay was a long time New Jersey resident graduating from Roselle Park High School, Trenton State College (BS), and Rutgers University(MS). Following his graduation, C. Jay began a lifelong career as an Industrial Arts teacher at John P. Stevens High School in Edison, C. J. retired in 1990. He developed and continued lifelong friendships with his students.

He and his wife, Jean Louise Shannon Johnston, enjoyed traveling, bluegrass music, and spending their summers at Campbell’s Point in Sackets Harbor. Jean passed away in 1990. He found love and companionship again with his second wife, Kathleen Wood of Watertown, sharing their love of music. Kathleen passed away in 2012.

C. Jay was known for his smile and his stories. He loved his time spent teaching and kept in touch with his family of students until his death. He was a member of the Sackets Harbor Presbyterian Church, where he played the church bells. C. Jay was also a member of the Sackets Harbor Historical Society. He led a rich life and enjoyed sailing, music, playing his organ, reading, woodworking, carving, and making stained glass.

C. Jay is survived by his son, Jay Owen Johnston (Sue Rafferty) of Croydon PA, his daughter Jeanne Deborah Johnston (Jaynibeth Goodwin) of Saugatuck MI, and three grandchildren (Katie Johnston (Phoenix) of Bristol PA, Kelsey McNamara(Ryan) of Levittown PA and Sean Johnston of Levittown PA), and two great-grandchildren, Barrett and Serena. He will be greatly missed by his family and community.

Arrangements are being made by Hart & Bruce Funeral Home, Watertown. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Donations may be made to Sackets Harbor Presbyterian Church.

Online condolences may be made at

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