Rev. Richard G.'s Story
Fr. Richard Gardner Johnson died peacefully on March 2, 2017, at the Sancta Maria Nursing Facility in Cambridge. He was 94.
“Father Dick,” as he was known, was born in Peabody, Mass., on August 11, 1922, and was raised in Marblehead. He graduated from St. John’s Prep in 1939 and Holy Cross College in 1943, where he served as the president of the Purple Key Society. Upon graduating from Holy Cross, Father Johnson went to St. John’s Seminary in Brighton and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1947. His assignments included St. Mary’s, Ayer, St. Mary’s, Lynn, Sacred Heart, Roslindale, Star of the Sea, Salisbury and St. Mary’s Star of the Sea, Beverly, from which he retired in 1997.
Father Johnson was truly charismatic and very popular. The parishes where he worked flourished under his enthusiastic leadership. He was an active athlete playing squash, racquetball and golf well into his later years. He was a lifelong member of Salem Country Club where his handicap was single digit for many years. Father Johnson loved golf, and he loved Salem Country Club.
Father Johnson also loved music and was an accomplished singer. He was a member of several glee clubs as well as being the music director at most of his parishes.
Father Johnson leaves his sister, Katharine O’Hare; five nieces and nephews and spouses, Kathleen O’Hare, Harry O’Hare, Jr. and his wife, Bobbie Shea O’Hare, Maureen O’Hare-Mercer, Eileen O’Hare and Richard Gardner Johnson O’Hare and his wife, Claire DiMarco O’Hare; seven grandnieces and nephews and a spouse, Matthew O’Hare and his wife, Melanie Donnelly O’Hare, Everett Mercer, Emileigh Mercer, Emmett Mercer, Libby O’Hare, Jack O’Hare and Ellie O’Hare; and two great-grandnieces, Melanie Katharine O’Hare and Bernadette O’Hare.
A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary Star of the Sea Church, 253 Cabot Street, Beverly, Monday, March 6, 2017, at 12:30 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. A visitation will be held at the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot Street, Beverly prior to the Mass on Monday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. A private burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Malden. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the College of the Holy Cross. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.
Published on  March 4, 2017