In Memory of Kenneth Johnston
Duxbury Beach Reservation, Inc. pauses to remember Kenneth Johnston, a trustee and director for many years. Ken was a quiet and kind man who was way ahead of many regarding the impact of sea-level rise. He dealt with it on his own property, which abuts the Blue Fish River, and had just recently raised his house because of the flooding he was experiencing from monthly flood tides.
Ken became involved with DBR following the severe damage to Duxbury Beach from the February 2013 nor’easter. He offered to help DBR plan a major fundraising campaign, which was something DBR hadn’t done since the No-Name storm of 1991. Ken worked tirelessly on behalf of DBR to raise funds for dune restoration work that cost thousands of dollars. He was elected a DBR trustee in 2015 and a director in 2016. He continued to support fundraising efforts even after DBR hired its first paid director and staff.
Ken himself was a generous supporter of DBR. He and his wife Marta hosted many a gathering in their home, Ken explaining how important Duxbury Beach is to our town because it has prevented the kind of damage surrounding coastal towns have experienced from storm surge in recent decades. He always pointed out that DBR has been denied federal restoration funds after damaging storms and cannot wait for weeks or months for municipal funds, which frankly are not available in the amounts DBR has had to spend to keep the barrier intact.
Ken Johnston was more than a fundraiser and house raiser. He loved to travel. DBR trustee Corey Wisneski relates that “talking to Ken was always fascinating, especially when he would recount the trips he and Marta had been on, which were never short of excitement and adventure; he did not spend his later years rocking away on a porch somewhere.”
Maggie Kearney, who was DBR’s president for many years, recalls that “Ken was passionate about Duxbury Beach and very convincing about why we should all contribute to its preservation.”
Clark Hinkley, DBR’s current president, agrees: “Ken loved the beach and was instrumental in helping us raise funds to preserve it. We will miss his wise counsel as a director of DBR.”
Read more about Ken and Marta's work to raise their house in July's Life on the Bay article.