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Published: Wednesday, 1/22/2014

Clayton S. Johnston, Jr. [1942-2014]; City parking leader sold men’s wear in Michigan

Johnston Johnston

Clayton S. Johnston, Jr., a longtime men’s clothier in Michigan who for 16 years oversaw downtown Toledo’s parking agency, died Jan. 6 in Flagler Hospital, St. Augustine, Fla. He was 71.

He had heart problems for several years, his daughter Suzanne said.

Mr. Johnston retired at the end of 2012 as president of the Downtown Toledo Parking Authority. The nonprofit agency was formed in 1995, and Mr. Johnston was hired a year later to run the city’s parking garages and parking meters. In 2001, the authority was recognized by the International Parking Institute with an award of excellence for the expansion and renovation of the Superior Street garage.

George Sarantou, a member of the parking authority board as a Toledo councilman, credited Mr. Johnston with updating and maintaining downtown garages and introducing such parking- meter innovations as credit card payment.

“He brought to our community a lot of vision of what downtown could be,” Mr. Sarantou said. “Clayton was a class act. He modernized the operation.”

For decades, Mr. Johnston was an owner of MacAr-thur’s, a men’s clothing store on the pedestrian mall in downtown Kalamazoo. “He was a downtown guy,” Mr. Sarantou said. “Being a retailer, he understood what customers wanted, and he listened to people.”

Born Dec. 19, 1942, in Jacksonville, Fla., Mr Johnston attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Surviving are his wife, Ann; daughters, Suzanne Clark, Jennifer Huder, and Emma Johnston; brothers, Karl, Ronald, and Richard; sisters, Linda and Mary Johnston, and four grandchildren.

Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Feb 8 in Riverside Christian Church, Jacksonville. Arrangements are by the Craig Funeral Home, St. Augustine.

The family suggests tributes to the National Kidney Foundation.

— Mark Zaborney

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