Cover photo for James G. Johnston's Obituary
James G. Johnston Profile Photo

James G. Johnston

Jim passed away, Saturday, February 24, 2024, at his home in Otsego.

He was born May 12, 1940, in Evergreen Park, Illinois, the son of Charles and Virginia (Tucker) Johnston. For many years he owned and operated a nursery and had also worked in wastewater treatment throughout the Midwest. In retirement, you could find him working at Bittersweet Ski Resort and was known as the “Godfather”. He loved encouraging the beginners on the Bunny Hill with his homemade signs – “You’re getting better, keep going.” or “Looking Good!”

Jim loved football and was an avid Chicago Bears and Blackhawks fan. As a young man he played football at Calumet High School in Chicago, Illinois, which included a trip to the city championship game played at Soldier Field. He also played under Coach Marv Levy during his college years at the University of New Mexico.

Jim was an animal lover and enjoyed talking with people. He loved spending time with his family and his many friends. Jim was a member of the American Nursery and Landscaping Association. He is survived by his best friend of more than 42 years and wife, Sharon Schroeder. 

Also surviving are his children, James P. Johnston, William (Kathy) Johnston and Julie (Fritz) Meents; grandchildren, Michelle (Brandon) Mencini, James (Erin) Johnston, Christopher Johnston, Alexandria Johnston, Russell Johnston, Derick Meents and Alyse Meents; great-grandchildren, Nicholas, Gianna, James and Grace; siblings, Bernard Johnston, Robert Johnston, Virginia Ross and Donald Johnston; several nieces and nephews; step-children, Sherry (Nick) Broomhead and Mark (Dana) Schroeder and step-grandchildren, Christopher and Justin Broomhead and Meganne and Nissa Schroeder. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Janine Johnston. 

According to his wishes cremation has taken place. 

Messages of condolence may be posted at


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