Retired Boston Police officer, Reporter writer Paul Johnston dead at 69

BPD Officer Paul Johnston (Ret.)

One of the most popular and admired Reporter columnists— Boston Police Officer (Retired) Paul Johnston— died Saturday at age 69 after suffering a heart attack.

Paul Johnston wrote The Beat Goes On, a weekly column that highlighted the ups and downs of police work on Dorchester's Area C-11 police district. As a community service officer, Johnston was a regular presence at neighborhood civic meetings for more than a decade before his retirement in 2004.

Read this 2003 profile of Officer Johnston, written by the Reporter's then-news editor Jim O'Sullivan.

Since his retirement, Johnston lived in Bridgewater and was the loving husband of Michelle M. Fangano.

Here are more details about Paul, courtesy of his death notice in today's Brockton Enterprise:

Paul A. Johnston of Bridgewater, a former Boston Police Patrolman, and Community Service Officer died unexpectedly Saturday, Nov. 24, at the age of 69. Paul was the loving husband of Michelle M. Fagnano of Bridgewater. Paul grew up in Boston and was a graduate of Brighton High School, Class of 61. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army. He joined the Boston Police in 1968 and retired in 2002.

He was the author of the original Beat Goes On Column in the Dorchester Reporter. He was always proud of his service to the city and his contributions to the Link-Up Education Network devoted to public understanding of the relationship between animal abuse and domestic violence. He was an avid boater and member of the Shawomet Yacht Club. Paul was a gifted craftsman who enjoyed fixing things and making them better. Paul raised his children in the Bridgewaters and was the loving father of Adam P. Johnston and Timothy D. Johnston and his wife Kristina, all of New Hampshire, and Aimee J. Johnston of Framingham; and the Grampa of Mikayla, Paige, Amilia, Cassandra, Lauren, William, Kevin, and Dennis. He was the loving brother of Rita Smyth of South Boston, Ronald Johnston of Connecticut, William Johnston of South Carolina, Elizabeth OHara of Quincy, and the late Ralph Johnston, Patricia Arswedson, Thomas Johnston, Kevin Johnston, Mildred Whiffen. He was also survived by many caring nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.

A funeral home service will be held Thursday, Nov. 29, at 9 a.m. at the Prophett-Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 98 Bedford St., Bridgewater, followed by a burial service at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne.

Family and friends are invited to the funeral home Wednesday evening from 4-8. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children or the American Heart Association . For online guest book and directions, visit Prophett-Chapman Cole & Gleason 508-697-4332

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