Edward E Johnston

Posted On March 17th, 2011 -


93, of Rohnert Park, CA., former Secretary for the Territory of Hawaii, passed away on February 18, 2011.

Survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Clare; daughters Karen Johnston of Rohnert Park and Janice (Stephen) Primiano of Barrington, R.I.; three grandsons Ben Blois, Greg and Eric Primiano; siblings Doris Ketner of Illinois, James Johnston of Texas; and several nieces and nephews.

Raised in Jacksonville, Illinois, Ed had a distinguished career and fascinating life. Graduated from Illinois College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and later received an honorary doctorate. Worked in radio broadcasting before enlisting in the Air Force. His service in World War II and the Korean War led him to the Hawaiian Islands, where he met and married the love of his life, Clare. He worked for many years in the insurance industry ( Von Hamm-Young, 50th State Insurance Associates, Hawaiian Insurance and Guaranty), earning his C.P.C.U., and became active in Republican politics (Oahu County and State Chairman). He was appointed by President Eisenhower to serve as Secretary for the Territory of Hawaii during the transition to statehood and later by President Nixon to serve as High Commissioner of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. Following his service in Micronesia, Ed served as Executive Vice President of Pacific Area Travel Association in San Francisco, as an executive recruiting consultant, and a director of Long’s Drug Stores. A member of Central Union Church, Ed was also active in many clubs (Kailua Racquet Club, Pacific Club) and volunteer organizations, including Jaycees, Kiwanis, and Easter Seals. Above all, he will be remembered as a kind, generous and optimistic gentleman totally devoted to his family, who will miss him immensely.

A memorial service was held in Rohnert Park and he will be interred at The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

- Denotes U.S. Military Veteran