Saturday, April 23, 2016

T is for Tom J. Johnston Jr.

I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (April 2016), where we write 26 blog posts featuring each letter of the alphabet.

T is for Tom J. Johnston Jr.

Tom J. Johnston Jr. was my grandfather. He was born in Gustine, Comanche Co., Texas to Thomas N. Johnston and Nell L. Hutson.[1] He had two older sisters and two younger brothers.

He married Pansy Louise Lancaster 14 December 1933[2] and they had only one daughter, Lela Nell.

Pansy, Lela Nell, Tom & the yellow Jeep
We called our grandfather Tom-Tom. He was a bit gruff and not too talkative. I do remember that he loved working with his hands, especially in carpentry. Many pieces of his handicraft were found in their home: lamps, tables, and picture frames. My mother had a built in ironing board he had made.

He loved fishing and I thought the catfish from Clear Lake tasted good, fried up the way my grandmother did rolled in cornmeal.  He loved his cars and his dogs. The dogs waited patiently for the evening ritual of an after dinner treat.

One of many dogs Tom owned
He worked at Diablo Valley College in the carpentry department.[3] One time he got tickets for the Harlem Globetrotters when they came to the college and I got to go. It was pretty cool!

His life was cut short at 60 years when he died 11 Jul 1973.[4] His was my first funeral but he looked so serene in the casket, not the gruff old grandfather.

[1] Bureau of Vital Statistics, Comanche County, Birth Record of Tom J Johnston Jr, 1912, Vol 8, pg 553, certified by county clerk, 14 Feb 1942.
[2] State of Texas, County of Hood, Marriage Record of Tom Johnston and Pansy Louise Lancaster (certificate copy), recorded in Vol I, p 161 Marriage License Records.
[3] Employee Performance Report for Tom Johnston Jr, Contra Costa Junior College District, 30 March 1965, Diablo Valley College Campus, Maintenance Department, Carpenter.
[4] State of California, Dept. of Health Services, Death Certificate of Tom J. Johnston Jr (73-087531), Contra Costa County, Tom J Johnston Jr, 1973.

Copyright © 2016 by Lisa Suzanne Gorrell, My Trails into the Past. All Rights Reserved.

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