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Robert Johnston


1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Robert Johnston Obituary
ROBERT JOHNSTON Robert E. (Bob) Johnston died on April 22, 2016. He was 96 years old. Bob was born to Walter C. "Sip" Johnston and Viola V. Hencratt Johnston on February 15, 1920, in Napa California. He grew up in Cottonwood California. During the summer months he stayed with his grandparents Lemuel and Julia Hencratt at the family's sheep camp in Lassen and Modoc Counties, where the family also owned the public scale at the Cottonwood Stockyard. During those summers, he really enjoyed the life of roaming the hills of the sheep camp, visiting other homesteads, and hunting. His first job was in the Cottonwood Creamery pulling blocks of ice from the brine tanks, and molding butter into 100 pound blocks, then cutting and wrapping them. He also sewed sacks of grain on Arthur Duncan's grain harvester. After graduating from Anderson High School in 1937, he worked for McCall's Creamery, and then as a route salesman for Coca Cola in Shasta, Trinity and Tehama Counties until December 7, 1941 when he enlisted in the U. S. Navy. Most of the four years he spent in the Navy was as a "torpedo man". He served on the destroyer the USS Conyngham through the battle of Midway. After Midway, when a call came in for submarine school, he volunteered. He was then assigned to the U.S.S. Snapper for the duration of World War II. One of the most awesome sights he'd seen in his life was coming through the Panama Canal after running dark the entire time in the Pacific; they knew they'd almost reached the Atlantic because all the lights were thrown on for the first time since he'd been on the submarine. The elation on the ship was indescribable. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he graduated with a B.S. in Business from Chico State in 1950, and a Master's in Business in 1969. In 1960, he met his wife Barbara Jones Brock and her three children. At the time, Barbara was in charge of teacher placement at Chico State, and Bob was inquiring about a job he saw posted for an English teacher in Oroville. Bob got the teaching position at Oroville High School where he taught for over 25 years. In 1962, Bob and Barbara were married by Rev. Daniel B. Wessler at the Bidwell Presbyterian Church on the Chico State Campus. Bob introduced his new family to a multitude of new experiences. They traveled all over the United States, Mexico and Canada. He loved to travel, and in 1985 was invited to join the Sons in Retirement, Branch 84, where 15 years as Travel Chairman made it possible for them to travel to over 32 countries. His favorite place on the planet was the Canadian Rockies, his second was the California North Coast. He and Barbara were avid abalone divers. One of our fondest memories was the yearly ritual of Bob slicing, then pounding the abalone to almost paper-thin discs, then Mom cooking them to crispy, tender perfection, and the three of us kids eating as much as we could. He was a lifelong bridge player (taught by his mother at an early age) he played bridge on his computer to the very end. Mostly, Bob was a naturalist at heart; he loved geography and geology, and liked to go bird-watching. Among his favorites were the flocks of Sandhill Cranes and red faced ibis. Fishing was also one of his pastimes and he and his best friend Al Simmen, would go fishing anywhere they could drop a line. They fished Copco Lake and Shovel Creek, the Klamath River, Deer Creek, and the Colusa Drain. But every summer they found themselves at Eagle Lake where Al and his wife Olene kept a cabin. Being in nature and at the cabin was pure heaven to Bob. He loved rainy days and it was pouring the morning he passed away. He was a world-class grandfather and gentleman who taught us all very much. We will miss him greatly. Bob is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara Johnston; three children by marriage Stan Brock, Clyde Brock, and Brenda Brock Martone; his grandchildren, Jason Brock, Jessica Brock, Cade Brock, Leslie Brock Richardson, Joe Brock, Shane Scott, Tiana Scott, and Chris Scott; 18 great -grandchildren and his nieces Vicci Turner and Janet Gilliland, and his cousins Marsha and Andy Johnston. Private family services will be held at a later date. Bob will be memorialized at the Cottonwood Cemetery in the family plot. Because Bob was a long time supporter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and The National Audubon Society, in lieu of flowers, please make a donation in honor of his life. Share your thoughts online at NewtonBracewell.com.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Apr. 26, 2016
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