Peter M. Johnson of Toms River, a gregarious character whose love of family, golf, and the little things in life will always be remembered in the hearts of those he loved, died Thursday at Manor-by-the-Sea, Ocean Grove. He was 86 years old.
Born and raised in Mineola, Long Island, New York, “Pete” enjoyed a long and successful career in accounting, auditing, and finally industrial sales. Equipped with a big personality, a constant smile and a disarming sense of humor, Mr. Johnson was a natural when it came to sales – especially when it came to dealing with the no-nonsense owners and managers of the gritty machine shops that he visited on calls throughout the Northeast and Midwest. His stories about his sales career and the thoroughly unglamorous destinations of his business trips were treasured by family and friends alike.
After earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from St. John’s University in New York in 1955, Pete met the love of his life, Eileen Sullivan Johnson, and they were married on September 6, 1958. This was the beginning of a beautiful partnership that continued for over 57 years until Eileen’s passing in 2016.
He was devoted to his Roman Catholic faith and was active as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and Religious Education Teacher at several parishes during his life, including Our Lady of Peace Church in New Providence, Church of the Annunciation in Florence, Massachusetts; and St. Mary of the Lake/Holy Family Church in Lakewood. He also served on the Archdiocese of Newark Board of Education during his years at Our Lady of Peace.
Pete also had a passion for golf and thoroughly enjoyed his many experiences with the sport, not only for the physical and mental challenge that it provided, but for the social interaction and opportunities for a good-natured ribbing that the game always produces.
Mr. Johnson was a warm-hearted loving father to his three children and was a frequent presence in the lives of his eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Pete attended many of his grandchildren’s activities and events as they were growing up, and he often wore the shirts, hats and sweatshirts of the colleges from which his grandchildren graduated with immense pride.
After marrying Eileen, Pete lived in Albertson, Long Island, New York, before settling and living in New Providence, New Jersey, for many years. They later lived in Leeds, Massachusetts, for several years prior to moving to Greenbriar Woodlands in Toms River in 1995.
Pete was predeceased by his wife, Eileen; his brother, Herbert; and his daughter-in-law, Susan. Surviving are his son, Paul; his daughters, Dr. Anne Ricculli and Elizabeth Long; his sons-in-law Dr. Nicholas Ricculli and Thomas Long; his grandchildren Joseph (wife Kelly), Missy (husband Owen), Katie (husband Will), David, Brian (wife Anna), Peter, Victoria and Denis; and his great-grandson, Nicholas.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, September 8th from 1:00 -5:00 p.m. at O’Brien Funeral Home, 505 Burnt Tavern Road, Brick. A Funeral Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, September 9th at Holy Family Church, Lakewood followed by the entombment at St. Mary of the Lake Cemetery, Lakewood.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Loren Donley Scholarship Fund, c/o Point Pleasant Boro High School, Laura Herbert Drive, Point Pleasant, NJ 08742; or Hackensack Meridian Health Hospice, Meridian Health Foundation, 1340 Campus Parkway, Building C, Neptune, NJ 07753, would be greatly appreciated.