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Distinguished Hamilton historian passes at 94.

Distinguished Hamilton historian passes at 94.

Charles (“Chuck”) M Johnston a McMaster history professor and author of several scholarly works has died at age 94. Dr Johnston grew up on Balmoral Street in the East end of Hamilton. Chuck attended Memorial School, Delta Collegiate Institute, and McMaster University, from which he graduated with a BA in Honour History in 1949. He then proceeded on a scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania where he obtained his PhD in 1954. A few months later he started teaching at McMaster in the History Department. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1988.

Dr. Johnston wrote several books, among them, a documentary history of the Grand River Six Nations, a prize-winning biography of Ontario Premier E.C. Drury and a 2 vol. history of McMaster. He served on several public boards and committees, including the Archaeological and Historic Sites Board of Ontario. In his retirement year he co-wrote (with friend and colleague Dr. Jim Greenlee) a book on British missionaries and imperialism. He was also named a Distinguished Alumni Scholar in Arts. Chuck compiled a World War Two Honour Roll Project, where he completed the biographies of all those McMaster students and graduates who never returned from World War Two. One of them being his former teacher from Memorial, Charles W. MacDonald, who inspired Chuck’s love of History and teaching.

He leaves his wife of 67 years, Lorna, four children and several grandsons and great grandsons. Cremation has taken place. A private family service was arranged. A memorial to honour his life will take place April 1, 2021. Online condolences may be made at

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