Dr. Sheridan Clark Johnston Jr., 69, of Eastsound, Wash., died Thursday, April 19, 2012 surrounded by loved ones in Seattle. He was born to the late Sheridan and Edith Johnston, January 9, 1943, in Suffern, N.Y. He was the eldest of two sons. Sheridan grew up in Spring Valley, N.Y., graduating from Spring Valley High School where he was an accomplished baseball player, earning All-County honors in 1960.
Sheridan pursued an education in engineering, where he earned four degrees culminating in a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Davis in 1974. He graduated with honors from Boston University in 1964 with a B.S. in aeronautical engineering. He earned masters degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1967 and the von Karmen Institute for Fluid Dynamics, in Belgium, in 1968, where he graduated second in a class of internationally recognized scholars.
Dr. Johnston was a scientist at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif., where for 30 years he pursued research relating to energy, agriculture, and defense. In 2005 he moved to Orcas Island where, because of advances in telecommunications, he was able to continue his scientific pursuits while living in the place he called paradise. Sheridan was driven to improve the accessibility of scientific knowledge; he published two books aimed at communicating timely scientific issues to general audiences. He proudly was never idle, and inspired those around him with his passion for the natural world.
Sheridan loved the outdoors, and for many summers traveled to California state and national parks with his son Alexander on father-son adventures. He was drawn to Orcas Island for its peacefulness and natural beauty. He actively hiked and kayaked, and was a frequent visitor to Moran State Park. From his time as a graduate student in Brussels, Sheridan loved Europe; in 2011 he took his dream vacation to Provence, France, with his significant other of seven years, Marilyn “Pipsee” Roderick.
Sheridan is survived by his son and son’s wife, Alexander and Lindsey Johnston , of Charlottesville, Va.; brother and his wife, James and Linda Johnston of Torrington, Conn.; niece and her husband, Jennifer and Billy Theodore, of Deltona, Fla.; Marilyn “Pipsee” Roderick, of Seattle, Wash.; and former wife, Melissa Youngman, of Danville, Calif.
A memorial service will be held on Orcas Island in June. Those wishing information as to the time and date of the service should direct correspondence to Alexander at 1772 Sugar Maple Ct, Charlottesville, VA 22903 or call (610) 291-8999. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
– Submitted by Sheridan Johnston’s family.