James Oliver ‘Jim’ Johnston passed away Friday, Oct. 4, 2013.
He was born April 12, 1924 in rural Lathrop, and was raised on a farm by his parent Oliver and Sue Mary Johnston both of whom preceded him death. His father went to work as a Federal Meat Inspector which resulted in relocations during Jim’s childhood years to Kingston, St. Joseph, Parkville and Carrollton, where he graduated from high school in 1942. Upon graduation, he moved to Richmond, and leased a meat market from the A&P store.
In 1943 during WWII, he answered the call to service in the Armed Forces where he became the Head Chef at Camp in Beale, Calif.. He served many famous guests such as Bob Hope during the war. He also oversaw 50 German prisoners of war during his service. During the war, he married Esther Grabner of Carrollton. After an Honorable Discharge in 1946, he returned to Richmond and reclaimed his meat market at the A&P which he owned and operated for ten years.
In 1953, Dr. Elmer Gray constructed a building at the junction of Missouri Highways 10 and 13 next to a new medical center which became Johnston’s United Super grocery store. Jim owned and operated the super market from 1953 to 1977 when it was sold to Bob MacDonald. Jim had other investment including another grocery store in the Kansas City area where he moved to oversee the business. He married Catherine E. Bost-Wright who survives him in Kansas City, Mo.
Jim leaves his wife, two step-sons, Dale K. Wright of Key Largo, Fla. and John W. Wright, Jr. and his wife Karla of Katy, Texas and two step granddaughters, Christie Wright Vial and her husband, Brian Vial of Houston, Texas and Erin Wright of Katy, Texas. Jim is also survived one niece, Danele Small of Stanfordville, N.Y., and one nephew, Allen Johnston of Charlotte, N.C. One brother, Robert, and a step-son, Clayton T. Wright, preceded him in death.
Jim was a lifetime member of the Richmond Masonic Lodge, Richmond Kiwanis Club, Richmond American Legion, Richmond VFW, and the Ararat Shrine Temple and member of the Richmond Christian Church (now the United Christian Presbyterian Church).
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in his loving memory to the United Christian Presbyterian Church of Richmond. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Oct. 7, at 2 p.m. at the Richmond United Christian Presbyterian Church. Visitation will be Monday, Oct. 7, from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Church. Burial will be in the Richmond Memory Gardens Cemetery where military honors will be provided by the Ray County Veterans.