Robert K. Johnson, 84, passed away in his Bozeman home on Friday, Aug. 7, 2009. He was born in Bozeman on Feb. 9, 1925, to Earl and Mary Johnson. He attended Gallatin County High School before joining the United States Navy at age 17.
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Serving with distinction in the Pacific Theater during World War II, Seaman Johnson received four service ribbons and 17 battle stars, including the Presidential Unit Citation during his tenure on the USS San Francisco.
During his time in the Navy, Bob was placed on disciplinary probation for overstaying his shore leave while visiting his sweetheart, Clara Manley. They were married Nov. 30, 1946.
In search of work, Bob and Clara moved to Southern California in 1949 where Bob worked in the oilfields. While living in California, Bob and Clara were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Judith Beneé Johnson on Jan. 26, 1952, and their elder son, Joseph Kane Johnson on Feb. 10, 1953. The young family moved back to Bozeman in 1955, where he joined the Bozeman police force. While in Bozeman, the family was blessed with the birth of its third child, Thomas Harvey Johnson on July 2, 1960.
Bob served Bozeman as a police officer for 20 years, retiring in 1976 as chief (a moniker that many would continue to call him by). The family then moved to Anaconda, where he served as chief of law enforcement for Anaconda-Deer Lodge County until 1980. Bob and Clara then returned to Bozeman and enjoyed their retirement, splitting their time between their houses in Bozeman and Pony and their cabin in Gallatin Canyon, where he loved to pick huckleberries.
Bob is survived by his loving wife, Clara; his brother, Bill; sister, Phyllis; three children, Judy, Joe, and Tom; five grandchildren, Nick, Andy, Alex, Nato, and Molly; and great-grandchild, Madeline. Chief, you will be missed!
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 12, at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.
Should friends desire, memorials in Bob's name may be made to the Shriner's Hospital for Children, P.O. Box 2472, Spokane, WA 99210; or to the Gallatin County Historical Museum, 317 W. Main St., Bozeman, MT 59715.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Aug. 9 to Aug. 11, 2009