Memories of Al

Elaine Johnston

I met Mr. Johnson (Al) through my beautiful friend and daughter of Al, Julie Hintlian, over 40+ years ago at the family home in Hingham, MA. I believe it was a 4th of July celebration and vividly remember Michael Jackson’s Thriller blaring in the bar room(I think it was a bar room) as you entered the family home - kind of a movie theatre vibe- the first of its kind that I had ever seen. Mr Johnson made all of us friends of his children feel welcome and he made sure that his kids and their friends always had a great time in his home. Always noticed the magic and generosity he seemed to bring into the lives of his children. Always loved hearing the stories about his relationship with his family.

Favorite Memory: Hosting Julie’s birthday one year down in the cape. He was so proud of his daughter(and all of his children) and very welcoming to all of her friends.

Mary Glidden

I have to admit I was a little intimidated when I first met him. His voice alone would make you sit up straight and listen. He actually was a big Teddy Bear. Generous, funny, kind man who wanted to make everyone happy when he was around you. 

Rest in Heavenly peace Al❤️

Favorite Memory: A beautiful boat ride at his Cape home, listening to his memories of how much he loved that house. And waking up to a yard full of Pink Flamingos he placed during the night at the Cape to surprise Julie’s friends for a party! 

Robert Galvinample

I will never forget his kindness to me. He was supportive of me whether I was in his presence or 2000 miles away. Never mattered. 

Favorite Memory: Any time he was entertaining us or anyone else usually with some hint of mischief. 

Favorite Joke/Prank: His photo with my parents on their wedding day with a stethoscope listening for a heartbeat as they exited the Resurrection Church in Hingham. It’s in their photo album as one of their favorite memories too. 

David Pj Rosenthal

I wiI used to stump him on trivia, and he couldn't imagine how I knew all the stuff I do, and then he would stump me...we would debate politics, and talk about religion....I grew up following his cases, and the first time I met him in an interview he starts off with 'I'm.....' and I finish with J Albert Johnson, you defended....some might call it brown nosing, but it was like meeting Carl Yastrzemski, Dwight Evans or Carlton Fisk....Al was impressive, and his passing brings tears to my losing a father. 

Gerry Lagueux

He loved his community and was dedicated to helping maintain and preserve it for the future. He was a great neighbor. Favorite memory: his generosity and fun

Barbara Colby

It was an honor to say I met Al! I was fascinated with his story telling, knowledge  humor and kind soul. He changed my life by encouraging me to pursue treatment for an eye issue that he was aware of. Thanks to his persistence I had a good result and was able to THANK him in the last weeks of his life. I miss his smile and know he is an amazing soul in heaven and will meet the rest of my friends and relatives that have passed before me. I love your spirit as it lives with all the angels in heaven. SEE YOU THERE ONE DAY!!!!

Paul J Canniff DMD

I met Al on Lake Wequaquet where we both were operating separate pontoon boats. JUST ONE GREAT GUY !

Lisa Hutzler

During the holiday seasons and family gatherings. One in particular, was the Lake Osborne Christmas Boat Parade. Of course the usual shenanigans, loud music, drinking and dancing with inflatable reindeer….LOL. Always a great time with Al. He was a wonderful soul and I always love hearing  his stories. He will be greatly missed by so many who loved him, including me.  ❤️ R.I.P. Al. ❤️

Gail McDonough Schenone

Knew Al through his daughter, my beloved friend Julie. Long before theatre rooms were in homes, the Johnsons had an awesome family/theatre/party/rec room. Outstanding bar in that room!

Clare Pimentel 

Julie, I had the pleasure of meeting your dad at your wedding. You must be grateful that he was there to show his love and support. When he gave his moving speech at the reception he was funny, still sharp as a tack with a commanding presence. It was clear how much love and pride he had for you and his family. I am keeping all of you in my thoughts and sending you my love, dear friend. 

Susan Hintlian

I wish I had the opportunity to get to know Al better, because in the short time I spent with him, I knew instantly that he was one of a kind.. Witty, charming, and funny as hell! My siblings and I are thankful everyday that Al’s daughter, Julie, is our stepmom. Her love for us is a testament to Al, because he helped shape her into the loving, caring mother that she is. Al’s legacy goes far beyond his legal career. His legacy is his family; his children, his grandchildren, and his great grandchild. I am very blessed to be able to call them my family too. Thank you Al- for the gift of family. God speed. P.S- you owe me half a White Russian when I get to Heaven! 

Erin Yezbick

I met the Great J. Albert Johnson about 25yrs ago when he graciously rented an adorable house on the Cape for Julie and her friends to spend the week. Our first stop, of course, like many years after that, was to visit him and his beautiful wife, Suzanne. Heading there for the first time, I will admit, I felt extremely intimidated. Walking up to his door, in the front window was a life sized “Stuffed” Alert Dog viciously barking at us and my intimidation started to ease. The moment I met him in his Marine tank tee and shorts, taking us down to see his bar with a voice from a speaker sounding out “Red Bull” the second you took a step on the spiral staircase, he quickly just became Al. Over the years, there have been so many wonderful memories of this man I later referred to as Dad. But my favorite is the day when Julie had to go to the post office so Al decided to drive us. Julie went in as Al and I waited in the car. When she came out in her long pink summer dress and thick soled flip flops, she did appear to be daydreaming so Al reached for this black mic that was attached to a loud speaker on his black car (Think unidentified Police Cruiser) and said “Julie, You in the Pink Dress. Turn to your left and Pick Up The Pace”. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard in my life. Embarrassing? Yes! But that’s why I absolutely loved this man. You were never allowed to have a bad day when Al was by your side. This is why his final year was so heartbreaking. He deserved a much better ending. Forever in my heart💜 Thank you Al/Dad for always being there. For always caring and for always making me laugh.

Favorite Memory/Joke: The Alligator Lady. Anyone who was lucky enough to know Al was fortunate enough to get a quick glimpse of her.

Jack Thompson

Met Al about 50 yrs go neighbor and then best friend  for life. Most influential  and loving person ill ever meet.!!!

Gary linscott

I met Al in 1970 when I got home from the Army (Vietnam era)through his best friend Chief Raymond (Bud) Campbell Hingham PD. Al mentored me and helped me to become a better person. Always there when I needed good sound advice and guidance. He was a true friend. We always kept in touch. He will always have a place in our hearts. Rest In Peace my friend, Rhonda and I love You and miss you so much!

Mark Hession

I was blessed to meet Al in 2000, at Our Lady of Victory in Centerville. Our friendship includes caring for Suzanne and their family, and extended through the last chapter in Boca. When Al believed in you, your whole world was blessed. May his devotion to family, clients and especially the poor assure us that his dwelling is with God.  

David Benoit

Even as a lawyer, he still wanted to be a street cop on the side! He still wanted a car with blue lights and siren!😆 He was great at both. He was unique and will be missed.

Charles Tourkantonis and Patricia Tourkantonis 

He was a gentleman and just an awesome man. Favorite memory: Driving his antique car on the cape 

Jerry Flanagan, Jr.

Favorite Memory: Driving us around Hingham as kids in his self-made wagon.  Loved that six wheeled vehicle too and the garage movie theatre too lol!! So thankful for his help with my wife Carol’s severance case where her former employer owed her back pay. Uncle Al told her exactly what to say.  One of Carol’s fondest memories. Al had a bar in his garage in Hingham years ago. He convinced me to try a shot of something and would not say what it was.  He laughed and said my face went white after drinking it. Wow does Ouzo burn going down lol!! 🥵

Former Neighbor on Richard Road

My childhood is full of memories of Mr Johnson. He was so full of life. He loved to drive the wagon full of neighborhood kids around the town and beyond. We met Cardinal Cushing and kissed his ring; we rode in the 4th of July parade. We wore fire helmets and chanted “Hinghams burning; pour on water”. He showed full feature movies in his garage (sound of music on thanksgiving). I recall Lou Pellegrini lighting the firework display in the backyard and the occasional helicopter landed next to the willow tree.  I forget what we called the loud buzzer that called the kids home. There was also some kind of PA system and he could be heard barking throughout the neighborhood - “David -get-in-here”. I remember him running out of the house when we ventured out on a family trip in the renovated blue bus as the sun was just coming up and he tooted the horn to wake up the entire neighborhood. There were all sorts of fun stuff like the go-cart rides and the log cabin. 

Meg Perez

There are so, so many. I’ve heard so many stories about his life and we’ve laughed and laughed  over the years that I got to know Al. He was such a special man. I have never met someone with so many honors and fame who was so humble. He could laugh at himself and make you feel like you were just hanging out with a Catholic kid from Massachusetts who “grew up on the wrong side of the tracks” (his words!) but he was so much more. He lived so fully in his life. I heard all about his childhood and school and then about being a police officer and managing a liquor store where he had his first law office and his desk was an old door propped up on cases of beer… He said one night while doing his multiple jobs (officer, liquor store and law student) he had the police scanner running into the store so he could hear it and a call came through- He forgot and jumped into the car and drove off- And ripped the scanner right out of the patrol car! He said he had lots of explaining to do to his boss! He told me about when he was in San Francisco for the Patty Hurst trial and he loved to ride around with the police officers at night (Seriously when did he ever sleep?) They went on a call and he was waiting in the squad car while the officer went inside the building and  a guy dropped down from the building right near him- He was a serial robber that the San Francisco police had been looking to catch and Al jumped out of the car and caught the guy. He said that a reporter was there and took the guy’s picture- He said it was lucky that only his foot was in the shot- Because although he had been a police officer, he obviously wasn’t an officer in San Fran- AND Randolph Hurst would not have been happy about it and his extra curricular activities at night! (He also had done a late night radio sign off and I think he even convinced a news channel to let him do the weather one night there- He said Hurst wasn’t too happy about that either!!) He told me about how his motto for his law practice was always 24/7, 365… And that he would answer the phone at any time. He said one night on a Sunday evening he got a call from a young woman who said her father had given her Al’s card and told her if she ever needed anything to call him. Al asked her what the problem was and she proceeded to tell him that her young son wouldn’t eat his vegetables and she didn’t know what to do. Al had her put the kid on the phone and sure enough, he got him to eat his damn vegetables! I heard stories about him getting locked out of castles in his underwear, leading a Junkanoo band, traveling the world, and meeting so many interesting people. He brought so much fun and levity to the world. He wasn’t afraid to be himself and let everyone else feel the same way. He told me about his kids and grandkids, his wife Suzanne, his childhood and how tough it was at times- How he met F. Lee Bailey,  his time in the military, his law school years… His travels and cases during his law career- He told me about his pontoon boats, helicopter rides into work and about being a pilot- (And how proud he was that David was also a pilot) I heard about his love for riding in his convertible with the top down. He told me about how proud he was of his children and how lucky he was that they loved him so much. He took the blame for not being around as much when they were young because of his career. He took the blame for his first divorce.  He told me about his joys and his regrets. His faults and his accomplishments. For two hours each week we would talk and talk about almost everything. We talked about things that most people can’t talk about without fighting- If we disagreed on something- We chatted and he listened and then gave his point of view. We both always came away with more to think about and I loved how he would always listen to what you had to say- even if he didn’t agree. We talked about God and death, sickness and love. We talked about heaven, politics, religion, and government. We talked about all the things you aren’t supposed to talk about with other people. We talked about current events and what was going on in our world every day.  

Throughout the years I got to know him, I could see what an incredible human he was. He was flawed (like all of us) and he knew it- He never tried to be anything that he wasn’t. He was honest and hard working and no matter how successful he became he never forgot about where he came from. It’s rare to find people like Al. He was 90 years old and still had the soul of a kid. He had an impish smile and always had lots of laughs. Jokes, pranks, and just still wanting to live life with such intention. He still had so much life to live. 

The world has lost an incredible human. I’m so happy to say that he was my friend and that I got to get to know him for the short time that I did. My Mondays and Thursdays at 4pm will never be the same and I miss seeing him and having our chats. We would always end up in some discussion and it would be after 5pm and he’d jump up and say- “That’s it! You’ve got to get home to your kids! They are waiting for you!” My girls would always hear the latest story I had for them about Al and if I didn’t have one, they’d ask how he was doing. He always asked about them and about my family- And he actually cared about the answer. 

It’s strange to say when someone passes away at 90 that they are gone too soon. But it really was too soon for him. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. He was so full of life that the emptiness that’s left in his place feels like a vacuum. I’m heartbroken at all of the hurts you endured. You deserved so much more. We miss you Al. We really, really miss you. Say hi to Jesus for us. I wonder what kind of fun you’re having up there. 

Merna Van

Dear Julie, Jamie and I send our heartfelt condolences to you and the rest of your family. Your Dad was one of my favorite people and I loved him from the day I met him. He was a one of a kind, nobody can fill his shoes kind of guy with a larger than life personality and charisma about him that filled the room. When Al talked to you, you listened not only because he gave such great advice but also because he had the very best voice in the entire world. He was so funny...he would leave me messages from time to time over the years, always a great story that kept me laughing for days. I got to see him again and talk to him for a while at your wedding and it was so good to give him a big hug. He was so thrilled to see his Julie so happy and to see the joy he was experiencing on your special day still brings tears to my eyes. I heard from him some months ago, a beautiful message he left me offering anything he could do for Jamie and I. It meant the world to both of us and I will never forget it. I know the loss is great but I hope the image of him dancing again with his beloved Suzanne brings you all some comfort. One thing is for sure...the entertainment in Heaven just got so much better. I love you. 

Kathryn Galvin Caille

Always a jokester, never a wallflower, Uncle Al had a truly beautiful friendship and brotherhood with my dad their entire lives that intersected personally and professionally. No matter where they were, they were only a phone call away from each other for decades. I credit Uncle Al with the invention of the home movie theater. And I will never see a grass hula skirt, a seeing eye goat (!), an ATV, a big RV and not think of Uncle Al. God blessed Al with four beautiful children and an amazing life. God bless you and take you up to heaven, Uncle Al, where I know my dad is waiting for you. Go easy on heaven until we get there. I will always laugh at the memories I have of you and you will always bring a smile to my face. My favorite memories are the silly ones - His booming voice coming from a megaphone attached to his car, torturing innocent bystanders. Putting loaves of bread in fish tanks or oddities in the dryer at parties. Placing an old jumpy dishwasher against the wall of his wife’s elderly grandmother’s bedroom in Humarock, using goats as seeing eye animals, driving his RV down our driveway at the July 4th party. Truly too many to name. 

Favorite Joke/Prank: Too many to list, but the first prank he did holding a doll that was supposed to be me at my baptism celebration and tossing it to my fathers elderly aunts will live on in infamy. “Here - catch!”

Charles MacDonald

My sincere condolences to the Johnson family on Al's passing. I met Al back in 1978 and we have remained friends. He was the first to greet me when I joined the Ancients and we enjoyed many great times traveling the globe. He and his great sense of humor will be sadly missed. May he rest in eternal peace.  

Brian Mahoney

If you were Al's friend, then you had a great friend. Great lawyer, great Ancient. RIP Al. Condolences to Al's family.

Peri Proctor

Al has been my friend for 30 years and I feel lucky and blessed to have known him. We shared many good times and laughter and He was also there in the tough times, the mark of a true friend. When you lose a friend like that you lose a piece of yourself - in this case a big piece. I will miss you my friend.

Chris Flanagan

Steven, Julie, Dave, Karen sending my condolences. I am so sorry for your loss. Uncle Al had such an impact on myself and my family's life at a young age that is impossible to put into words. Spending time with uncle Al was just a blessing. Every time I drive through the old neighborhood in Hingham I'm filled with the greatest memories. Uncle Al and Auntie Barbara were my god parents and I'm so fortunate to have had them in my life. God bless you all. Rest in Peace Uncle Al. has been my friend for 30 years and I feel lucky and blessed to have known him. We shared many good times and laughter and He was also there in the tough times, the mark of a true friend. When you lose a friend like that you lose a piece of yourself - in this case a big piece. I will miss you my friend.

Kimone Hall

Al was a giant in the legal industry. I lost my best pal and words cannot express the overwhelming loss and sadness I feel with his passing. I will be forever grateful for his friendship and for all the calls and laughter we shared over the years.

Nan Flock

I was on my way to Fla to help celebrate Al's birthday with Julie, Dave etc a few years ago, 8 maybe? ... my dilemma....what do you give a man who has everything or who has access to everything and is somewhat of a prankster? I discussed this with the person next to me on my flight. He came up with a brilliant fun idea from a site called Fluker Farms. I bought and overnighted the perfect birthday gift, one in which all could participate. Once in Al's hands, he gently unwrapped his gift. I explained there were enough to share and all should try these expensive "Swiss chocolate" delicacies. So, he passed them around. We each tried one, including me. Yummy. Then I went to him and pinned a button on his shirt and welcomed him into the "I ate a bug club" All were a bit confused until realizing each ate a chocolate covered cricket! Al laughed and laughed. Fun prankster moment...just in reverse. Al, you were our pillar, our trusted shoulder to lean on. Your strength, generosity, fun loving ways will be greatly missed by many, especially your family. May you all find peace within your heart and keep Al's smile alive....luv always, Nan Flock.

Suzanne and Buzz Schneider

Our deepest sympathy to the wonderful Johnson family who lost a true patriarch and someone they could always count on. Al had an amazing legal career without a doubt, but was a Dad first and foremost to his four kids. We felt blessed to have spent many entertaining times with him and of course he always insisted on treating if we were going out to eat. There was never a dull moment when you were with Al - his presence was always known - we will never forget his booming voice and laughter. He would do just about anything to keep things lively, there was always a twinkle in his eyes, and a fabulous joke or story to get everyone laughing hysterically! He also had an incredibly sweet side that not everyone got to see. Through the years, he always took the time to thank us for being such good friends to his daughter Julie and how much peace it gave him knowing she was blessed with so many close friends. He was also incredibly kind and caring when Suzanne, his wife and love of his life, was sick. We hope he is reunited with her now and know that she would have taken such wonderful care of him during this last chapter of his life. We hope they are together again on the big pontoon boat smiling and laughing. We will miss you Al. God speed and God bless for making our lives richer - you were definitely an unforgettable guy who we adored!  et Al about 50 yrs go neighbor and then best friend  for life. Most influential  and loving person ill ever meet.!!!

Cathy and Ian Stopps

Missing you already, Al. Missing your jokes, your booming voice, your numerous phone calls, your sense of purpose, your incredible thoughtfulness, but most of all your friendship.

Dawn and Bob O'Connor

Dear Julie, Karen, David and Steven, my heart goes out to all of you during this most difficult time. May the wonderful loving family memories of your Dad get you through this period. Your Dad loved you all deeply and you brought him such joy and pride. I know that his final days were filled with your love and support and that is what helped give him peace. Knowing in the end that he was cared for by his loving children must have meant a lot to him. Isn't that what life is all about - having a loving family that is there for you in sickness and in health?!! The memories of your dad - full of fun laughter story telling and jokes! He was the first one to call and get us VIP entry anywhere we wanted to go in Boston or the Cape, always wishing us fun along with making sure we were safe and understood the law! Always so generous providing memorable vacations on the cape for all of us - the best part of being when he joined us for dinners! Al was there to help any of your friends in need and gave his time as though we were his celebrity clients!! He will be missed by many but you have such wonderful memories that will carry you through. Always remember the good times! That was the Al we all know and love. He is now with Suzanne and shining down on his children who showed unconditional love his whole life. Love all of you, Dawn and Bob  

Lt. F. Kelley Landolphi, AHAC

To the Johnson Family: A short condolence for a great and generous man. I was introduced to Col. Johnson by a mutual friend, the late Maj. Rick Truscello, as a member of the Ancient & Honorable Artillery Company of MA. One June Day, he asked me how I was doing and how my fledgling practice was going. I told him I had a tough criminal case going and he was all ears. He gave me great advice (especially about closing arguments), and then unbelievably recalled the case and that conversation, when he called me about a month later and asked if I was successful. When I advised that I won after an 8-day trial, he said, "great job, my friend, savor the victory." I had just been complimented by one of the greatest trial lawyers in United States and Massachusetts history! What a great man, great lawyer and great Marine. You have my sincerest condolences for your loss. Sadly, our profession has lost a Giant. 

Diane Nagi

My heart is broken -- Not only was I lucky enough to have Al Johnson as my uncle, I was also lucky to have him as my boss in the late 80's. We were at a family function and Al came up to me and asked if I would help him out as his receptionist walked out - not a great selling point but I agreed to help him out for a little while. My brother Chip was working for him already as a claims adjuster so how could I refuse? I sincerely thanked Al for bringing me into his firm of Johnson, Mee, and May as I made my lifelong best friends (Froma, Carol, Lisa, Karen, Susan) there! From the St. Patrick Day parties to Christmas parties at Richard Road, these are memories I will treasure forever. Sound of Music showings in his movie theatre, Hingham 4th of July parades to the Point Sebago vacations, such amazing memories. Of course, he was the best big brother to my mom, Margo who received nightly calls at 6:30 sharp "just to check in" - he will be her angel watching over her now - I'm sure Suzanne, Chip, and MB and all his family/friends were at heaven's gate to greet him! He was so loved and now it is time for him to fly high with the angels - until we meet again, Uncle Al the Kiddie's Pal. xoxo

Judith Pedersen

Al, I met you 26 years ago at Glen's office. You were always one of the nicest guys I have ever met. You were a Fabulous attorney and a good friend. You will be missed, my friend. Fly with the Angels. Jude

Lynne Caramello

Dear Julie - Those we love don't go away; they walk beside us every day. Unseen, unheard but always near. Still loved, still missed and very dear.... - Thinking of you and your family at this most difficult time. LC

Paul Foran

Tavi and I were extremely saddened to hear about Al's passing. We both liked him instantly. He always treated us with kindness, respect and good humor. We had heard about his legendary career and liked to imagine him flying around the country in first class charming the stewardess! We could see him having the requisite "3 martini lunch" at some posh restaurant in San Francisco or having a scotch with the boys at an oak paneled private club. He loved his vintage automobiles and his beautiful home on Cape Cod. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall at one of the parties he threw at the incredible bar he showed me at that home! He loved taking Julie to the car show in one of his incredible vintage automobiles every Father's Day. Julie would always send me a picture of the two of them. He lovingly showed Tavi and I his "wall of fame" at his home office in Boca explaining his relationships with all the famous people in the photos. Al had a lot but without family and friends to share it with it was worthless. For all the excitement and glamour that Al's life had it must have been a tough time to be a man and a father. I'm sure he wasn't perfect but it seems to me that he retained his kind soul in an era when many men probably lost theirs. He will be greatly missed!