Kim Blake Johnston
July 16, 1948 - December 22, 2013
Resident of Pleasant Hill
Kim Johnston passed away on December 22, 2013 surrounded by his family, after a brief and courageous fight with cancer. Kim was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and loving friend to many people. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Marilyn; daughter Michelle (Tom) McKinney, son Blake, his four grandchildren: Lucy, Aidan, Colin and Lennon; and his sister Jackie of Aptos. Family was extremely important to Kim and he was very proud of each and every member.
Kim was born in Palo Alto, California, to William H. and E. Anne Johnston. He was raised in Walnut Creek, graduating in 1966 from Del Valle High School as student body president. Following high school, Kim attended the University of Arizona for two years and then transferred to San Diego State University where he earned a BS in Business Administration.
Kim met his wife Marilyn in 1967 while at the University of Arizona. The couple married on August 31, 1968 and started a family soon after. For many years Kim, Marilyn and their two children, lived in numerous places in the U.S. following new positions for Kim in the water and gas industry, including Houston, Texas; Ypsilanti, Michigan; Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, returning home to the Bay Area in 1987, first to San Ramon and then to Pleasant Hill.
Kim enjoyed many pastimes including genealogy, photography, driving over Tioga Pass, and stopping at every historical marker he came across. He had a thirst for exploration through travels: as a teenager, Kim traveled throughout Europe with his family and friends; later in life, he enjoyed exploring the west and southwest U.S.: from the California redwoods, to Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks, to both the South and the less-visited North rims of the Grand Canyon. In August, Kim celebrated his 65th birthday together with his wife, children and grandchildren, in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.
Kim was a life-long fan of the San Francisco 49ers and the San Francisco Giants. In 1982, for Super Bowl XVI, while living in Ohio, the family home was wrapped in spray-painted tarps rooting for the 49ers' successful victory over the Bengals. In 2012, Kim and Marilyn were at Game 1 of the World Series where Pablo Sandoval 's three home runs started off the Giants' 4-game sweep. Kim also had an incredible passion for music across the decades, from Rod Stewart and the Beatles to the Moody Blues and CCR, from Roy Orbison and the Seekers to Glenn Yarbrough and the Eagles.
Kim was the president and owner of Pacific Pipeline Products. He spent his professional life working in the water and gas pipelines industry and was relied upon by many for his knowledge and product expertise. He developed many friends through his business and received wonderful shows of support from them over the last two months. He was a member of NACE for over 25 years and was recognized for his contributions to the industry many times.
A celebration of Kim's life will be held in the spring.
The family suggests donations be made to Nothing but Nets, a United Nations Foundation campaign for malaria prevention that Kim supported during his lifetime (www.nothingbutnets.net), or The Sierra Club (www.sierraclub.org) in memory of Kim's love for the outdoors and our national parks.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Jan. 18, 2014