Robert Chandler Johnson

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Robert Chandler Johnson

After a long struggle with Parkinson's disease, Robert C. ("Bob") Johnson passed away on October 23, 2013, in the Health Center of Cokesbury Village in Hockessin, DE. Born to Robert and Veda Johnson in Detroit, MI in 1930, Bob moved with his family to Buffalo, NY, when he was seven. He graduated from Kenmore High School, where his interests included amateur radio and playing piano in a student band.

Recipient of a Naval ROTC scholarship, he graduated in 1952 with a B.S. in Physics from the University of Michigan and was also commissioned as an Lt.JG. Bob spent the next three years as a Radio Officer on the aircraft carrier USS Wright. Bob then returned to school and earned an MS in Physics at the University of Iowa before transferring to the doctoral program at Stanford University, where he received a PhD in Low Temperature Physics.

In June of 1962, he moved his young family from CA to Wilmington, DE and began his 33-year career in Central Research with the DuPont Company. During his initial years in the labs at DuPont's Experimental Station, his interests ranged from magnetic field effects to low temperature and thermal analysis. He also served as a visiting scientist for the American Institute of Physics. Later in his career, Bob was President of the North American Thermal Analysis Society: he also contributed his time as a consultant for DE science and math education.

An active member of the First Unitarian Church of Wilmington, Bob served on many committees and spent two terms as Board President. In his spare time, he was a lover of poetry, music, and golf. His contagious sense of humor was with him to the end. Avid travelers, Bob and Mary Jane, his wife of 58 years, explored the world and enjoyed every adventure.

He will be greatly missed by his children, Andrew in Boulder, CO; Douglas (wife Michelle and children Callum and Caitlin) in Canberra, Australia; Sarah (Kevin) in Gila, NM; and Michael (Pamela) in Ellicott City, MD. Other family survivors are his sister Mary Leonard of CT and brothers-in-law Richard Wood of IL and Robert Wood of WA. The family is very grateful for the skill and kindness of the Cokesbury Village Health Center and the care provided by Vitas Hospice.

Private services will be held. In lieu of flowers, contributions made in honor of Robert C. Johnson for Stem Cell Research would be greatly appreciated. Please make checks payable to Stanford University and mail to Development Services, PO Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309-0466.

For online condolences, please visit


(302) 478-7100

Funeral Home
Chandler Funeral Homes and Crematorium
2506 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803
(302) 478-7100
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Published in The News Journal on Oct. 29, 2013
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