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Born on March 19, 1924 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Died at home January 22, 2013 in Port Coquitlam. Predeceased by his sister Jean Richards-Bond, brother William (Bill) and grandson Michael Johnstone-Breen. Survived by his wife and "honey darling sweetheart" Violet, daughters Shirley (Gil) Berkson, Barbara (Glenn) Grimmer and Janice (Graham) Rannie, grandchildren Tyler and Cassandra Berkson, Walter (Alycia) and Alex Johnstone-Breen, and Isaac Grimmer. He is also survived by his sister Evelyn (Rod) Hourston, brother Robert, and sister Irene Bennett and many nieces and nephews. After centuries of Johnstones in Aberdeenshire, and with the migration of many Scots, George came to Canada with his family as a four year old on the SS Athenia. The family settled in Vancouver, and George worked as a merchant seaman as a teen, followed by service in WWII. He worked many years in logging camps in BC, and had his own water taxi company to transport forest workers. After an industrial accident left him with one arm, he went back to the logging camps and was the only forest worker with one arm in BC at the time. When work in the forests became too much for him, he worked for the Coquitlam School District #43 until his retirement. George liked a challenge and learned to fly planes with his one arm, eventually owning his own Cessna and Lake Amphibian planes. Well into his retirement, he enjoyed his "toys", operating his own excavator, Caterpillar and tractors on the farm upon Burke Mountain, and travelling in his motorhome. He favourite place was a well- equipped garage where he could fix or fabricate anything. Most of the furniture in Dad and Mom's home were his own creations. George was strong in his convictions, firm, fair and wise. He was compassionate to animals and humans alike, and was not without a hearty sense of humour. George was an active member in the Army, Navy Air & Force Veterans Unit 26 (South Vancouver) and the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 133 (Port Coquitlam). No service will be held by his request, but there will be a gathering of family and friends in the spring. In lieu of flowers, donations to the BC SPCA or the Heart and Stroke Foundation would be greatly appreciated. First Memorial Burkeview Chapel 604-944-4128.
Published in Vancouver Sun and/or The Province from Jan. 29 to Jan. 31, 2013