MANCHESTER - Robert F. Johnston, 84, of Manchester, passed away Dec. 4, 2012, at Villa Crest Health Care Center following a lengthy illness.
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He was born in Manchester on Sept. 2, 1928, the son of William and Helen (O'Brien) Johnston.
He was raised and educated in Manchester and was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He was the popular and respected owner of Bobby's Lunch from 1964 to 1990. An annual tradition was the St. Patrick's Day Dinner that he hosted at his restaurant.
Bobby was a very successful professional fighter. He won 36 out of 42 professional fights and was enshrined in the Queen City Sports Hall of Fame. He later mentored successful local fighters Bobby Rivard and Bobby Stephen.
"He was just a great person," Bobby Stephen said Wednesday evening..
"In those years, boxing and baseball were the sports of the world...He considered us his proteges," Stephen added, noting both he and Rivard won several Golden Gloves titles.
Stephen was 11 years younger than Johnston and looked up to him as did many youth.
"He (Johnston) always wanted to make sure he made a difference in the lives of young folks," Stephen said.
"He loved people. There was always a wonderful smile on his face," Stephen said.
He was an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Easter Seals and hosted many Christmas parties for children of that organization. After his retirement, he worked as a school bus driver for the Manchester Transit Authority and was also employed by the State Pari-Mutuel Commission. He also served as a volunteer for the Meals On Wheels program.
He was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Jeannine (Dulude) Johnston on July 6, 1997.
Family members include a daughter, Barbara Anne Snee of Manchester; two sons, Allan F. Johnston and his companion, Dee Blake of Webster and Stephen M. Johnston and his wife, Lisa of Manchester; eight grandchildren, Kelley Scott, Joseph Johnston, Michelle Rule, Elizabeth Johnston, Shane Johnston, Kelsey Johnston, Shannon Snee and Matthew Snee; two great-grandchildren, Faith Johnston and Mariah Johnston; three sisters, Mary McGuire of Manchester, Lillian Peltak and her husband, Tom of Manchester and Jeanie Johnston of Manchester; four brothers, James Johnston and his wife, Shirley of York Beach Maine, Frank Johnston and his wife, Janice of Manchester, Ronald Johnston and his wife, Donna of Dedham Mass., and Lenny Johnston and his wife, Helen of Lehigh Acres, Fla., and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his wife, Bobby was predeceased by two sisters, Helen Fremeau and Christine Johnston and two brothers, William and Richard Johnston.
SERVICES: Calling hours will be on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. in the McHugh Funeral Home, 283 Hanover St., corner of Beech Street.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Monday at 10 a.m. in St. Pius X Church, 575 Candia Road. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bedford.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Easter Seals New Hampshire, Attn: Development Department, 555 Auburn St., Manchester 03103. Condolences may be offered at www.mchughfuneralhome.com.
Published in Union Leader on Dec. 6, 2012
Arrangements under the direction of:
McHugh Funeral Home & Cremation Service
283 Hanover Street | Manchester, NH 031044920 | (603) 622-0962