Richard Johnston

August 8, 1946April 19, 2021

Richard Allen Johnston, 74, passed away April 19, 2021, after complications from surgery. He was born to Allen Edward and Romania Cox Johnston on August 8, 1946, and raised in the Salt Lake Valley. Rick was a graduate of Skyline High School and the University of Utah with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Engineering. He served in the United States Army in the Corps of Engineers from 1969 to 1972 and was honorably discharged as a first lieutenant.

He married the love of his life, Barbara Ellen Haff in 1974 and they had two children, Benjamin and Rebecca. Rick loved his family more than anything and was fiercely proud of his children, their spouses, and his grandchildren.

Rick worked for 30 years with Salt Lake City Corporation in the Engineering department, ending his career in 2006 as a deputy city engineer. Passionate about golf from a young age, he golfed as much as possible and thoroughly enjoyed spending his retired years trying to hit a very small ball into a small hole hundreds of yards away in as few strokes as possible. He was a member of the Mountain View Golf Course Men’s Association and played in many tournaments there. He also played golf every Monday night with the same group of guys since the 1970s. Besides golf, Rick loved skiing and fly-fishing, especially in Brown’s Park of the Green River, and watching University of Utah Football and Basketball games.

Rick will be remembered for his kindness, patience, and sense of humor, especially his dad jokes. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, his children Benjamin (Angela) and Rebecca (Brian Gruetzmacher), and his grandchildren Maya, Oscar, and Iris. He is also survived by his sister, Judy Wintch.

No public services are planned. In lieu of flowers, we suggest a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. We love you, Rick, we’re sad with you gone now, but as you always told us: It’ll feel better when it stops hurting.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Richard Johnston

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Greg Hawkins

May 7, 2021

I loved working with Rick in Salt Lake City Corporation. He was smart and talented.

Carrie Kuo

May 7, 2021

I have known Rick and Barbara since University days. We have remained good friends despite time and distance. My heartfelt condolences to Barbara and their beautiful family. Sending all my love at a this difficult time.

Bruce Kahn

April 30, 2021

Dear Barbara and Ben and Becky-

Rick was my best friend in the US Army at Hanau, Germany from 1969-1972. We were both officers, so we lived off base. He was the best friend. We golfed and skied throughout Europe. Rick was in my wedding. He had the greatest sense of humor and was so great with both my children. They will also miss him!

I will miss Rick so much. He was such a special person in my life. I will never forget him!
I wish you Barbara, and your family to heal and remember all the great times you had as a family. Take it a "day at a time"
God bless you all!
Love, Bruce and Karen and Adam and Angela

Jerald Lyon

April 30, 2021

Barbara and family

Rick hired me to fill a newly created deputy city engineer position and we worked together for 23+ years, through floods, mayors, and projects that made Salt Lake City a much finer city for its citizens.

He was a good friend, a great lunchtime running partner and a very good engineer.

I hope you are all doing well.

Jerry Lyon

Lynn Jarman

April 28, 2021

Dear Barbara and Family,

Rick and I worked together in City Engineering for 25 years. He was much more than a co-worker; he was a true friend that lifted me up when times were rough. We spent many hours discussing and laughing about lines from Mel Brook's movies, bad rounds of golf, and activities of our kids. Rick always told me he had two favorite college teams: University of Utah and whatever team was playing against BYU.

Rick was part of a Lunch Bunch (retired and still working City Engineering employees) that met for several years after Rick retired. We are truly saddened at his passing, but we also celebrate his life. He lived a life that inspired and helped others face the trials and challenges of everyday life.

I pray the Lord's comfort will flow upon you at this difficult time.

Lynn Jarman (Rick's good buddy from work)

Pamela Kirby

April 27, 2021

Dearest Barbara and Family,
I have loved being friends and neighbors of yours. Rick will be truly missed, he had such a quick sence of humor. Rick and I went to the same high school, I may not have known him then, but he is a doll! Rick will always be with you in your heart - cherish the wonderful memories you two shared.

All my sympathy and Love,

Terri Park

April 25, 2021

Dear Barbara and family,
I'm so sorry for the sudden loss of your dear loved one. From the moment I met Rick, I realized what a special person he was. I can't imagine the huge void in your life right now. My hope is that the beautiful memories you share bring you all much needed comfort today and always. You're in my thoughts and prayers.

Kathy Bardsley

April 25, 2021

Bob will treasure all of the fishing trips to Brown’s Park and all the float trips down the Green River he had with Rick. He loved their trips to Alaska, and Yellowstone and all of the golf rounds they shared. We will miss him terribly. We send our love and we are a phone call away should you need anything.
Kathy and Bob Bardsley

Penny Heal Breiman

April 25, 2021

Barbara and children,

I have followed you two and kids over the years as a “Heal” and family of friends. Rick’s incredible kindness and caring stand out remarkably. My mother and the rest of our family had the highest regard for Rick.

I wish you all the best. A very big loss.

Penny Heal Breiman

Jodi langford

April 25, 2021

Barbara and family,
I'm very sorry to hear of Rick's passing. I worked with Rick at Salt Lake City for many years. He was a very kind person. I enjoyed our conversations and friendship over the years. My thoughts and prayers are with you.