Car buff, enjoyed cooking and vacations to Aruba

Published February 12, 2020

WAKEFIELD — Kevin J. Johnston, 65, of Wakefield, passed away unexpectedly at home with the warmth of his wood stove and his cherished dog, Cortland, beside him on Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020.

Kevin was born in Melrose on Jan. 27, 1955, and was one of two sons of the late Joseph and Claire (Abbott) Johnston. He was raised in Melrose, graduated from Melrose High School as a member of the Class of 1973, and received his associates degree from Bunker Hill Community College. On Aug. 26, 1978, he was married to Ruth A. (Marks) and they settled in Wakefield to raise a family of two children. For over 35 years, Kevin was a successful, self-employed contractor who specialized in ceramic tile and marble installations throughout Greater Boston. Dedicated to his craft, Kevin’s many referrals from previous customers was a testament to his excellent work over his long career.

Kevin enjoyed life while keeping a good sense of humor through it all. A car buff, he owned many cars over the years, including his favorite, a black 1964 Corvette Stingray. He also entertained friends and family with trips around the neighborhood in his black hearse. For his entire life, he had a well-known love for keeping the house warm, regardless of the season, with a piping hot fire in the wood stove. With some classic rock on, his dog Cortland at his side and a fire in the stove, Kevin was a happy man.

Most of all, Kevin was a dedicated, fun and loving husband, father and especially grandfather. With his fun-loving nature, Kevin regularly shared time with his grandchildren. He brought a smile to their face regularly with time spent gardening, baking, taking drives in the Corvette, reading at home or vacationing in Aruba. In his free time, he enjoyed trips to Foxwoods, researching the stock market or cooking his favorite Italian foods.

Kevin will be deeply missed, but will be lovingly remembered for his love and deep dedication to his family.

Kevin was the beloved husband of Ruth A. (Marks) Johnston, with whom he shared 41 years of marriage. He was the devoted father of Kimberly A. Minor and her husband Christopher of Lynnfield; and the late Eric J. Johnston. He was the cherished grandfather of Victoria and Connor Minor of Lynnfield. He was the caring brother of Brian M. Johnston and his wife Marie of Stoneham. He was the loving uncle of Brianna and Catrina Johnston of Stoneham.

Relatives and friends were invited to gather in honor of Kevin’s life during visiting hours at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose on Thursday, Feb. 6, followed by a Life Celebration. Gifts in memory of Kevin may be made to National Down Syndrome Society, 8 E. 41st St., 8th Fl., New York, NY 10017. To sign an online tribute, visit