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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » George Thomas Johnston ’58

George Thomas Johnston of Renton, WA, age 83, died Monday, March 25, 2019 at home surrounded by his family following a long illness.

He leaves his wife of 53 years, Marian “Rickie” (Gonzalez) Johnston; his sons, George Jr. “TJ”, Greg, his daughter’s Renee Baker and Rachel Blake; and his five grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Born and raised in Newark, NJ, the son of George and Virginia (Sacco) Johnston, was raised in Rye, NY, but spent most of his life in the greater Seattle area.In his early years, George and his brother Neil lost their parents and moved to Rye, NY, to live with their Uncle and Aunt.

After graduating High School in 1953, he attended Antioch College in Ohio, graduating in 1958 with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology. After graduation he moved to Seattle to continue his education at the University of Washington .

He worked for Boeing, where he met his wife, Rickie, in a carpool he had created and they were married in 1965 at St. Thomas’ Catholic Church. George worked at Boeing for ten years but left to create his own company, “Flotation Services,” his maintenance company that served the residents of the Lake Union Floating Homes for over 45 years. He had a passion for these homes and was a Founding Father of the Floating Homes Association. This organization would help safe guard this unique and special community for decades, because it was continually under threat of being torn down for development.

To some the Seattle Floating Homes are considered to be as much of a City Landmark, as the Space Needle. He not only took pride in his business, but truly relished the friends he made during his time there. Over the years, his reputation led him to be named in several books about Lake Union.An avid reader, he was would read the Seattle Times and Seattle Post Intelligencer from cover to cover daily (except the sports page). A funeral service was, held April 11 at 11:00 AM at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Renton, followed by a reception at St Matthews Lutheran, with burial at Greenwood Cemetery.