Kelton Dexter Johnson, 86, of Mashpee, Massachusetts, Balboa Island in Newport Beach, California, as well as Scots Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, passed away at his home in the community of Southport/Mashpee, surrounded by beloved family, on October 11, 2020. Born in Worcester, MA, January 18, 1934, the son of Milton Siegfred Anders Johnson and Beatrice Lawson Johnson, Kelton attended the Worcester School System, graduating from South High School, and completing both a Bachelor Degree in 1956 and Masters Degree in Teaching in 1958 from Worcester State College.
Kelton was married to “the love of his life,” Beverly Shaw Johnson, for 61 years. Their children include Mark Dexter Johnson and wife, Judith Dolan Johnson, of North Andover, MA; Karen Johnson Gregor and husband, Brett Gregor of Newport Coast, California; and Bretta Johnson Wiemann and husband, Craig Wiemann of Balboa Island, California. Grandchildren include Tyler Wiemann and his partner, Sofia Aedo of Encinitas, California; James Ian Johnson and wife, Lyndsay Cooper Johnson of Valley Village, California; Stanis Krista Johnson Ames and husband, Gary Ames of Salem, MA; Casandra Mae Johnson and partner, Michael Gallant of Amesbury, MA; Ella Summer Wiemann of Balboa Island, CA; Kelton Jane Gregor of Newport Coast, CA; and Matthew Trent Wiemann of Balboa Island, CA. Great-grandchildren are Grace Cooper Johnson and Emma James Johnson of Valley Village, California.
Kelton was a Reading Specialist and taught in the Worcester School System for twelve years before his appointment by the Town of Millbury School Department to become the Principal of five satellite schools and transition them into a new 550-pupil Elmwood Street Elementary School K-5, in the fall of 1968. The school flourished under his leadership, with an enthusiastic Mothers’ Club supporting the Arts and Humanities for all students and raising money for each classroom teacher to have a “supply wish list” filled each year. Special staff was also hired to allow use of the gymnasium by the community on the weekends. Kelton was active in the First Congregational Church of Sutton, especially in fundraising for the construction of a new two-level education/function room addition to the main sanctuary. Kelton served as the Town of Sutton representative for a proposed (thirteen-member town) Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational Technical High School in Uxbridge, MA. Kelton served on that school committee for 30 years, 20 of them as Chairman. He was proud of assisting BVR through three major growth transitions, including opening the school up to young women and providing innovative curriculum. After coaching Sutton Little League for several years, he gave in to his daughters’ fairness queries and started a Sutton Lassie League. Kelton was also an active member of The Sutton Lion’s Club and The Sutton Community Players. Most notable was Mr. Johnson’s portrayal of “the singing giant” in the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale set to music and stage by Beverly Shaw Johnson. Over 8,000 Worcester County children saw this musical performed, and when the school busses rolled into the Elmwood Street School on opening day, they were greeted at the curb by THE GIANT!
Upon retirement, the Johnsons moved from Sutton, MA to Hyannis, MA, which became a 22-year, spring and fall “nest,” with winters in Newport Beach, California and summers in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia, on the Bay of Fundy. Kelton and Beverly discovered Southport in Mashpee in June of 2016, where they finally downsized. A Mason for 56 years, 50-year member and former Grand Master of Quinsigamund Lodge in Worcester, MA, (now Morning Star Lodge, A.F. and A.M) Kelton transferred his membership to Marine Lodge A.F. & A.M. in Falmouth once he moved to Mashpee. As a Thirty-Second Degree Mason he served on the Statewide Demolay Scholarship Committee for over 20 years. A lifetime member of the NEA and MTA, Kelton was a member of the Mashpee Men’s Club and served for many years on the Osterville Men’s Club Scholarship Committee, awarding grants to Barnstable High students. As a veteran, he served in the Air National Guard of the Air Force Reserve. Kelton and his wife especially enjoyed their fellowship with the ministers and members of the Mashpee Congregational Church as well as participating in their outreach programs.
A celebration of life service will be held in Scots Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada, when the Border opens. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made on his behalf to Mashpee Congregational Church, P.O. Box 1796, Mashpee, MA 02649, or to the scholarship of your choice. Any personal messages to the Johnson family may be sent to the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 74 Algonquin Ave., Mashpee, MA 02649.