Cover photo for Kenneth P. Johnstone's Obituary
1967 Ken 2024

Kenneth P. Johnstone

February 14, 1967 — July 1, 2024

Ken Johnstone | Courage and Dignity 

 Kenneth P. Johnstone fought for nearly two years with courage and dignity to live life as much as his diagnosis and body would allow him. On Monday, July 1, 2024 Ken’s disease took his life from us. Ken, 57, born on Valentine’s Day in 1967, was an incredibly active and engaged person who savored being on a hiking trail, skiing down a mountain, swinging a golf club or tennis racquet and riding a road or mountain bike.

 He was excited to be a Philadelphian moving here in 2022. Ken lived and worked in Colorado for nearly three decades where he was a well-respected city planner for Louisville, Denver and most recently Wheat Ridge. While a city planner for Louisville, Colorado for nearly 12 years, the city was ranked the number one place to live by Forbes and Money magazines. Ken also spent several years working in and exploring Seattle, Washington; Dublin, Ohio; Stowe, Vermont; and Nantucket, Massachusetts.

 Ken grew up in Michigan where he attended the University of Michigan and then went on to earn his Master’s in City Planning and Urban Development at The Ohio State University, although he was quick to note he took great pride in rooting heavily for the Michigan Wolverines. 

 He is survived by his wife and best friend, Michele McKinney; his mother, Arline Johnstone; and his sisters, Kirsten (Jim) Osborn and Donna (Rick) Cunningham. He was preceded in death by his father, Ronald Johnstone, and his infant brother Eric Johnstone.

 Ken thrived in nature and nothing was too insurmountable…hiking 14,000 feet mountains in Colorado, trekking to seek out the best camping spot, skiing trees and glaciers and biking on new terrain thrilled him to the core. He also relished consuming art at museums and festivals as well as curating a collection with his wife. Ken was an avid traveler and was always looking for new and interesting places to explore. He craved authentic Mexican cuisine and enjoyed pushing his culinary skills in the kitchen.

 Ken was also at home in spirited debates and stayed profoundly curious about the world. His friends and family will recall his energy, commitment to just causes and most of all his wonderfully dry sense of humor that he shared all through his journey. 

 His pragmatism and ability to craftily and diplomatically navigate situations was a leadership trait admired by many of his colleagues. Many recall his smile and twinkle in his eye to be engaging and infectious.

 He was known among his friends as a conscientious and dapper man, always appropriate, well-coordinated and reflecting good taste for whatever the occasion.

 A celebration of Ken by a gathering of many friends and family will be held in August at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, a place he had hoped to become a member of when he moved to Philadelphia in 2022. Ken was incredibly excited to live in his new east coast dwelling and had taken full advantage of the Cresheim Valley and Wissahickon Trails surrounding his home.

 Ken’s mantra once he was diagnosed with Glioblastoma in September 2022, was to do what brings you joy. His wife asks that you do the same - go out and do something that brings you real joy and share it with others.

 In lieu of flowers, and to honor Ken’s appreciation of nature and his love to host a party, you can donate funds to the Friends of the Wissahickon, Friends of the Cresheim Trail or help cover some memorial event costs, because Ken always enjoyed entertaining and sipping a well-crafted Manhattan. 

 Ken will be missed beyond words, as courage and dignity aren’t easy traits to find in one individual.


Friends of the Wissahickon - 

 Friends of the Cresheim Trail - 

 Help cover memorial costs

Michele McKinney (Ken’s wife) Venmo - - 







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