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Jotham Johnson, 79

U.S. Marine


Jotham Johnson, a long time resident of Blawenburg, died peacefully at home on Friday, April 22.

Jotham was born on September 15, 1942 in Key West, Florida to Jotham Johnson Sr. and Sarah Jane Coates. He grew up in New York City and Sodus Point, NY. He attended the Grace Church School, and graduated from the Choate School, Princeton University, and Harvard Graduate School of Education. He was proud to be one of four generations to attend Princeton: his grandfather, Jotham Clarke Johnson M.D., Class of 1879; his father Jotham Johnson, Class of 1926; Jotham, Class of 1964; and his son, Jotham Thomas Johnson, Class of 2000.

Jotham majored in Romance Languages and European Studies – an interest since living in Rome with his parents as a boy. He excelled at sports and was the starting catcher on the winning baseball team all four years at Princeton.

After discharge from the Marine Corps after 1967, he spent his life involved with fundraising, university administration, and alumni work – at RPI, Cornell, Recording for the Blind, Rutgers, and Princeton. Jo had over 30 years of service to Princeton University, culminating as director of leadership gifts and then the inaugural director of stewardship, before retiring in 2010.

Jo’s devotion to Princeton continued in his volunteer activities as secretary of his Class of ’64 for 35 years; trustee of the Cap and Gown eating club for over 50 years; and inaugural secretary of the P.U. Hockey Association. He enjoyed meeting prospective students, even traveling across Canada to help recruit hockey players, many of whom he maintained relationships with throughout their undergraduate careers and beyond.

A past volunteer of the Blawenburg Fire Co., he was also a member of the Old Guard of Princeton and Springdale Golf Club. He was an avid reader of history and enjoyed golf and travel outings with his friends and classmates.

Jotham is survived by his wife of 50 years, Grace Tucker Butler and their three children: Alex and his wife Andrea; Tom and his wife Leigh Morrison; and their daughter Sarah Johnson and her husband Josh Hendrick. He was especially proud of his three grandchildren: Gabriel, Victoria, and Harper.

Jotham faithfully attended St. Charles Borromeo as well as the Blawenburg Church, where his children were raised. A celebration of life service will be held at the Blawenburg Reformed Church, 424 Route 518, Skillman, NJ 08558 ( at 11 am on Saturday, June 11, with further celebration at the Cap and Gown Club, 61 Prospect Ave., Princeton.

In Jotham’s memory, contributions may be made to: Class of 1964 Scholarship Fund, Princeton University, attn Helen Hardy, PO Box 5357, Princeton, NJ 08543.


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