Robert L. “Bob” Johnson, 82, passed away March 17, 2017 at MidMichigan Medical Center from injuries sustained in an auto accident. Bob was born September 23, 1934 in Kearney, Nebraska to Victor L. and Grace (Bailey) Johnson. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering and his Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Nebraska –Lincoln, graduating in 1957. Bob was recruited by the Dow Chemical Company and moved to Midland to begin a 40 year career as a chemical engineer. During his career he worked in Process Engineering, Maintenance, Manufacturing, and Project and Capital Management. He also taught engineering and mathematics for the University of Michigan, Saginaw Valley State University, and Delta College. On October 18, 1986, Bob married his best friend, Cheri Gay at the Homer United Methodist Church. They spent 30 years making happy and loving memories with their family. Following his retirement in 1996, he joined Midland Engineering LTD where he served as a consultant, Vice President, and Owner.
Next to his love for his family was his love of music. Bob was given his first clarinet when he was 6 years old. He was involved in various music communities for more than 60 years. He played with the Midland Symphony Orchestra, Polka bands, Dixieland bands, Community Concert bands, Dance bands, pit music for theater, and as a church musician. Bob was instrumental in the restructuring of the Chemical City Band. He played clarinet, saxophones, bassoon (Have horns, will travel!!!). In recent years, Bob enjoyed volunteering with the Bullock Creek Middle School bands. He delighted in watching the students’ progress. When not making music or being with family, Bob spent much of his time in the woods watching the wild life around home as well as sitting down by the Pine River in his back yard. He enjoyed riding his Kubota tractor to keep the lawn and maintain his quarter mile long driveway.
Bob is survived by his wife Cheri; his children Steven (Anne) Johnson of Los Altos, CA, Alan (Leslie Havens) Johnson of Waltham, MA, Sue (David) Mikan of Glenshaw, PA, Kevin R. (Teresa) Johnson of Essexville, and Karin Gustin of Midland. Bob was the proud grandfather of Chris Mikan, Emily Smerilli, Amanda Gerard, Johnathon Gustin, Kevin A. Johnson, Julia Johnson, and James Gustin; great grandchildren Jack Mikan, Evelyn Mikan, Julianna Smerilli, and Gianna Smerilli. He was preceded in death by his parents and his younger brother David.
Funeral and committal services for Bob will take place at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, March 22, 2017 from the Sanford United Methodist Church. Rev. Lisa Cook will officiate. Bob’s family will receive friends at the Ware-Smith Woolever Funeral Home, 1200 W. Wheeler St., on Tuesday, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. and at the church on Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until time of service. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider Bullock Creek School District Endowment Fund (Band) through the care of Midland Area Community Foundation, 76 Ashman Circle, Midland, MI 48640 or to the Chemical City Band Endowment Fund through the care of Midland Community Foundation with checks being made payable to the Chemical City Band Endowment Fund.
“Thoughts and prayers are with you all in the Loss of Bob, enjoyed seeing him at the family functions. May your love and memories of him carry you through this difficult time.”
— Tammy Schmidt