Robert (Bob) Johnson passed away on November 26, 2018 due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. He was at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in Chippewa Falls with his loving son Brad at his side.
Bob was born March 29, 1928 in Blair, Wisconsin to Ernest and Ethel Johnson.
Bob grew up in the Eau Claire area and graduated from Eau Claire High School. He worked at J.C. Penney in downtown Eau Claire where he met his future wife and best friend, Betty Davis. They were married on January 2, 1953 and were inseparable until Betty’s death in 2007.
He joined the US Air Force in 1953 and was stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi where he taught Morse Code and Printing. His first son, Mike, was born on the airbase in Biloxi. He was later stationed in Germany during the Korean Conflict as a Radio Operator.
After the Air Force Bob began working at Uniroyal where he became a shift supervisor in the curing department. He worked there until his retirement in 1988. He was well respected and treated his employees with respect. Many times, he would run into his employees outside of work and when he was introduced to employees’ family as their “boss” he would correct them and say “we work together”. He never thought of himself as being above or better than the people he supervised.
Bob was a lifetime member of Grace Lutheran Church in Eau Claire and later at Saving Grace Lutheran after the congregation split. He loved both of his churches and was very active with Betty and proud of being an Eucharistic lay person serving holy communion to shut ins.
After retirement Bob and Betty would manage clearance book sales locally and across the country where they made several good friends.
Bob loved and looked after his family. He was the sole provider so that Betty could stay at home with Mike and Brad through their school years. He loved his vacations in the summer and would take the entire family to cabins at Lake Chetek, Round Lake, and Upper Eau Claire Lake. He was an expert walleye fisherman and up to his final fishing trip would out fish the rest of the family.
Bob fought hard against the debilitating Parkinson’s Disease and lived on his own after Betty’s death until his health forced him to move to the Wisconsin Veterans Home at the age of 87. While at the Veterans Home he helped implement a ceremony for Veterans that passed. In part because of Bob’s suggestions the other residents line up and honor the deceased veteran while Taps is played. It was an honor to see the respect the other residents showed Bob as he left the Veteran’s Home for the last time.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Betty, and his parents, Ernest and Ethel.
Survivors include his sons, Michael (Joyce) Johnson and Bradley Johnson. He is also survived by sister, Ellen (Ken) Smidt; grandchildren, Kelly Cantwell, Jordan Johnson, and Brenda Duri; goddaughters, Lori Smith and Jami Drake; and numerous great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to all who assisted him at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home in Chippewa Falls. He was treated with dignity and respect by all the staff up to his final days.
He will be greatly missed and his family thanks him for his service to our country and for the love and support he provided his entire family.
Funeral will be held December 1st at 11:00 AM at Stokes, Prock and Mundt Funeral Chapel in Altoona. Visitation will be held one hour prior to service with a luncheon after the Memorial Service. This will be followed by burial with Military Honors at Rest Haven Cemetery in Eau Claire.
The family requests memorials to the Parkinson’s Foundation.
Cremation Society of Wisconsin, Altoona is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be shared at www.cremationsociety-wi.com.