Robert A Johnson

1943 - 2017

  • 74 years old
  • Date of birth:  October 11th, 1943
  • Place of birth:  Douglaston, New York
  • Date of passing:  November 4th, 2017
  • Place of passing:  Acton, Massachusetts, United States

Robert “Bob” Johnson died on November 4 at his home in Acton, Massachusetts, at the age of 74. Bob grew up in Douglaston, New York, son of the late Anton and Edith (Anderson) Johnson. He is survived by his son Alex Johnson, who lives in Boston with wife Stela Johnson and son - Bob’s grandson - Andrew Johnson; by his sister Margit Johnson of Whitestone, New York; by his sister Christine Sterling of Bolton, Massachusetts and her husband Edward Sterling; and by his former wife Elizabeth Comstock of Concord, Massachusetts.

Bob was a man of many passions. He loved all manner of outdoor adventures, from digging clams as a boy on Long Island, to rock climbing, mountaineering, birding, fishing, skiing, Scuba diving, and flying the family in his small plane all across North America, from California to the wilds of Alaska. He was an ever curious scientist, earning a BS (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) and Ph.D. (Brown University) in Physics and writing his thesis on magnetism because it was the hardest problem he could find. After a time as a professor at Bucknell University, Bob continued in this vein throughout his professional life, developing magnetic recording technology at the Sperry Research Center, Polaroid, Digital Equipment Corp., and Quantum. Bob was deeply involved in his community. He served Acton’s town government as a Selectman and on various committees, served as a soccer coach and a leader of Acton’s Boy Scout Troop 11, volunteered with Household Goods and the Acton Garden Club, and was an avid bridge player. Bob will be remembered by all who knew him for his strong sense of justice, his sharp intellect, and his adventurous spirit.

A memorial service will be held 3PM on Saturday, December 9 at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, 435 Central St, Acton, MA. In lieu of flowers, consider a donation to the Massachusetts Audubon Society or the Appalachian Mountain Club.

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