Stephen Porter Johnston

Stephen_ProfileStephen Porter Johnston was born on January 28, 1958, in Seattle, Washington to Patricia O’Connor and Fred Johnston and spent his early years in the family home built by his grandfather overlooking the Fauntleroy Ferry Docks.

Stephen started working in the seafood industry at the age of 15 for Universal Seafoods in high school while UniSea was still operating on the Seattle waterfront. Stephen worked full-time throughout high school running the clean up crew on the night shift and attending Chief Sealth High School during the day. His extraordinary drive and work ethic propelled him up the corporate ladder during his 17 years with UniSea. He was recruited in 1995 by American Seafoods to build their Purchasing Department as he had achieved an excellent reputation in the industry.  Stephen hit his stride professionally at American Seafoods, going from a medium sized, shore-based Alaskan operation to a large ocean going fleet operating worldwide.

Stephen was equally driven and passionate in his hobbies, be it water and snow skiing, becoming a master scuba diver and most recently, learning to stand-up paddle. Stephen also had a passion for boats, cars…basically anything with an engine.

He is survived by wife Kathy, son Morgan, daughters Tara and Kristen, and sister Taya.  He was a devoted husband, loving father and a fiercely loyal friend.

A memorial mass celebrating Stephen’s life will be held on Saturday, September 13th, 10:00 am, at St. James Cathedral, 804 9th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104.

A reception to celebrate his life will be held following the mass at McCormick & Schmick’s Harborside, 1200 Westlake Avenue North from 12 noon – 2pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please consider making a donation in Stephen’s memory to one of the organizations below.

Ballard Food Bank, 5130 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

Treehouse, 2100 24th Ave S, Suite #200, Seattle, WA  98144

7 Responses to “Stephen Porter Johnston”

  • Diane Grimm says:

    Dear Kathy,

    My heart goes out to you and your family during this time of sorrow. I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Much love,

    Diane Grimm

  • Jay Dinnison says:

    I cannot express the sorrow I feel for the loss of Stephen, and how this must affect you and your family. This breaks my heart and shocks me to my core. We drifted apart over the years, but the great times we shared are etched forever in my memories.
    My sincerest condolences.

  • D.Keith Nicholson says:

    It is with great sadness that this news spread among friends. Stephen was a outstanding individual. I regarded Stephen as my best friend for 25 years. I was his best man, and godfather to Morgan. I was with Stephen as he raised Morgan as a single father and I supported him in any way I could. We spent countless hours on Lake Sammamish water skiing. Eastern Washington was our playground, camping, skiing. Stephen was always there as we established our first homes on the Sammamish Plateau. He could not have been a better friend. Stephen introduced his children to camping and water sports as the joy it brought us was passed along to them. I cannot begin to know the pain the Johnston family is enduring at this time. I hope some day everyone can find peace in knowing Stephen as a great Father, husband, and friend. There will be a hole in my heart for very long time…
    With Love,

  • Lisa Brandt says:

    My heart is with you as your try to find direction in this time of loss. I hope that you and your dear 3 young adults can hold tight to the wonderful memories you have created with Stephan.
    In loving kindness, peace be with you all…

  • Rebecca Rawson says:

    Dear Kathy and Morgan,
    We were shocked and saddened by the news of Stephen’s passing. I can speak for my entire family when I say our hearts are heavy with sorrow for what you all have been going through. We have very fond memories of Stephen. He was such a hard worker, and devoted father. He was always willing to help us with projects at the family cabin with a terrific zeal and “can do” attitude. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to you and your entire family.

  • Denise Furneaux says:

    Dear Kathy,
    We are so sorry we missed the service. We would have been there if we had known. Please know that we remember “our Stephen” and his contributions to UniSea over so many years. Wishing you and your family peace.

    Denise Furneaux & Phil Hanson

  • Tasha Grondal says:


    I’m Stephen’s niece. Taya is my mother. It is New Year’s Eve and I have just learned the terribly sad news. My heart goes out to you and the children. I’ll be calling my mother to let her know about her brother. This is going to shake her to the core. She loved Stephen like any sister would. This is so sad. My heart is broken. Wish my uncle and I could have spent more time together. Stephen’s great niece goes to Kennedy Catholic High School and his great nephew goes to O’Dea. (Across from St. James Cathedral) Wish we could have known about the memorial mass. Peace and Love – Tasha Grondal

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