Christopher, Chris/CJ, Johnstone passed away on March 16, 2021 , at home in El Paso, Texas, with his love Caroline by his side. Chris was born in El Paso to Mona Jo and Bill Johnstone on February 28, 1950. Chris is survived by his wife Caroline; stepson David Hanscom (Alyssa); sisters Tricia Johnstone Westbrook, Tita Johnstone Dixon and Susie Johnstone Emfinger (John); brother Michael Johnstone ; uncle Jimmy Flack( Suzanne); aunt Karen Flack; numerous cousins, nieces and nephews; grandchildren Ramsey and Ella and countless friends who were like family.
Chris was preceded in death by his parents Mona Jo and Bill Johnstone; his grandparents Martha and Big Bill Johnstone; and his sister Beverly.
Chris attended Mesita Elementary School and from there went straight to Coronado High School, graduating in one of the first classes in 1968. He went on to UTEP, graduating in 1972 with a BS in business administration. After working in his family business, in 1989 Chris started his own company Franklin Door and Trim which he built into a thriving business. Chris could not have built the company without dedicated employees and the help of his operations manager Monica Aguilar Romero who took over for Chris when his health began to fail. He loved Monica like a sister. Franklin Door continues today under the leadership of Jesse Brown. Chris had ultimate confidence in Jesse who employs many of Chris’ original employees. He was so proud of Jesse and saw himself in this remarkable young man.
CJ, as he was known to his sports friends, was an athlete who especially loved basketball. He learned to play from his dad, a 1941 Border Champion at Texas College of the Mines, shooting into a basket on a sawhorse in their backyard with Tim Floyd his childhood buddy and son of his father’s former teammate. He played throughout his life, only stopping when his knees gave out in his sixties. Chris spent his last hours watching NCAA playoffs.
Though Chris struggled with the debilitating effects of early onset dementia, he never forgot Caroline, his family and friends. Chris enjoyed his acquired family. He was very proud of his stepson David and found joy teaching basketball moves to young grandson Ramsey. He spent hours sharing stories about his childhood and remembering their wonderful times together with Caroline and talking to basketball brother Ted Williams. When Chris talked to Ted it was as if time had stood still. And, Chris knew and could sing the lyrics of seemingly every rock and roll song written in the sixties and seventies. He especially enjoyed the Rolling Stones, Jackson Browne and the Eagles. He loved to reminisce about seeing the Stones with Caroline and dear friend Park Combest and Jackson Browne with his old pal Duffy Rivera.
As he departs this earth for his next adventure, CJ, would want to flash us the peace sign and remind us that we are One Planet One People. Peace and Love, brothers and sisters.
Special thanks to the staff of the Legacy at Cimarron which became home for Chris and Caroline and where he was shown such love and kindness.
In lieu of flowers, Chris asked that contributions be made to the UTEP Men’s Basketball program or to Sacred Heart, the church of his adored grandmother Marta.
Ashes will be scattered over the Franklin Mountains that he loved so much this summer post Covid.