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Robert Johnson

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JOHNSON, Robert Robert Russell (Bob) Johnson 93, educator, WWII veteran Robert Russell (Bob) Johnson passed away peacefully on July 18, 2014 at the Coffee Regional Medical Center after an extended illness. Bob was born on June 8,1921 to Robert Benjamin Johnson and Gertrude Landry Johnson in Chicago Illinois. He earned the bachelor's and master's of science degrees at the University of Illinois. He proudly served as a Captain in the United States Army during World War II in the 11th Airborne Division, 511 Parachute Infantry Regiment with service in the Philippines and Japan. Prior to joining the 511th, Bob was a member of the 541 Parachute Infantry Regiment. As recorded in various sources of the unit's history, "the men who filled out the unit's ranks were of a high caliber, all had scored exceptionally well on their Army Entrance Exams; and all were volunteers." After WWII Bob returned to the University of Illinois to complete the master's degree before teaching and coaching at the New Mexico School of Mines in Socorro, New Mexico; and at William Penn College (now William Penn University) in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Bob and his family moved to Douglas, GA in 1952 where Bob taught science and coached football and baseball at Douglas High School (later known as Coffee County High school). Bob became Athletic Director and baseball coach at South Georgia College in 1959, and became Registrar of the college in 1964. Bob served as Dean of Students and retired from the present South Georgia State College in 1986. After retirement Bob was appointed to the Georgia Board of Examiners of Licensed Dietitians by the Governor of Georgia, and served for many years. Having completed his master's thesis on the effect of diet on athletes and athletic performance, this appointment aligned with a lifelong interest in dietary practices, performance, and health. Bob was a longtime member of the Douglas Kiwanis Club and was a member of the Douglas First United Methodist Church where he sang in the Chancel Choir, worked with the youth, and taught Sunday School classes for over 50 years. He was also a past president of the Georgia Retired Teachers Association. Bob is survived by his wife of 69 years, Bobbie Swift Johnson; a daughter, Jan Knight of Wauchula FL; a son Tom (Wanda) Johnson of Roswell, GA; a granddaughter, Jennifer (Ronnie) Franz; and two great grandchildren, Riley Franz and Kendyll Franz all of Cookeville, TN. Bob also has two nephews, Hugh (Gayla) Hutchings and Gene Hutchings of Sparta, GA. Funeral service was held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 21, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church of Douglas GA. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Bob's name to the , the First United Methodist Church of Douglas, or to The American Bible Society (americanbible.org). Sims Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on July 22, 2014
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