OLD FORGE >> Darwin Perkins Johnston passed away on Jan. 15, 2014 in the arms of his loving wife of 51 years, Patricia Ann Verblaw Johnston. He was surrounded and held in love by his son Gregory P. Johnston, daughter-in law Karry, daughter Catharine Johnston-Brooks, and granddaughter Abby. He is also survived by Gregg and Karry's son Ian, Catie's husband Roger and their two children Jack and Emma, and his sister Catharine Westlake.
Darwin was born on Oct. 21, 1939 in Jamestown, N.Y. He graduated from Jamestown High School, earned a bachelor's degree from Macalester College and an MBA from Syracuse University. Darwin worked for Oneida Silversmiths for over 25 years, retiring as vice president of human resources. He started each day walking the factory floor where he took a personal interest in each employee.
Darwin's life work did not end with his retirement. In fact, retirement brought a new beginning. He transitioned from caring for employees to focusing on time with his family and the communities in which he lived. He was dedicated to his work with the Community Transportation Services (CTS) in Old Forge, N.Y. He cared deeply the people he drove and had meaningful relationships with each of them. In addition, Darwin volunteered driving for the Emergency Squad of Sun City Center, Fla.
Darwin was a member of two faith congregations. In the summer he was a member of Niccolls Memorial Presbyterian Church of Old Forge, N.Y. where he served as elder, and member of the finance committee. In the winter he was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Brandon. He had a wonderful voice, sang in the choir of both congregations. He loved music, taught himself to play the piano and also played the guitar in a bluegrass band when he was in his 20s.
In the last 10 years, Darwin travelled around with world with Patricia. They visited many countries on six continents.
Darwin was a mentor and a leader. He was known for his generosity and his compassion. He was a loving husband, father and grandfather. He will be remembered with great love and his sudden passing is grieved with deep sorrow.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Niccolls Memorial Presbyterian Church, Old Forge, N.Y. A picnic reception will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Community Transportation Service (CTS) in Old Forge, N.Y. and to the churches he loved in support of their music ministries.
Published in The Oneida Daily Dispatch on July 27, 2014