Robert K. Johnson, fondly known as Bob or Bobby, was born to John and Regina Johnson, on February 2, 1955, in Philadelphia, PA. Robert came from a family of seven; mother, father and five children. He was the baby of the bunch. He was raised in South Philadelphia, and at a young age the family moved to West Oak Lane in Philadelphia where he was the first to attend Ellwood an integrated elementary school.
Robert was full of life and had an infectious smile. He attended Olney high school where he was a talented athlete. He was on the football team, track team and played other sports. He was also on the chess team where he won multiple awards. At the age of 17, Robert was spiritually guided to get baptized by Reverend Thomas Ritter of Second Macedonia Church. Reverend Ritter had a major impact in Robert’s life. Robert often used a quote from Reverend Ritter stating, “Do all that you can do, and God will do the rest.” After graduating high school, Robert met up with a woman he secretly admired, that would later become his wife, Sheila Wayne.
Robert went to Philadelphia Community College and Penn State Abington, and then obtained a successful job with the Philadelphia Gas Works. He worked at PGW until an opportunity came to join the Pennsylvania State Police as a State Trooper. The opportunity to join the State Police was the first opportunity the State Police offered allowing more minorities into the force. The state test was offered to Robert to join this class, and Robert passed the test! This was a defining moment in Robert’s life moving on from PGW where he thrived, to a new job that could shape the rest of his life. After considering all options, Robert accepted the offer to join the Pennsylvania State Police as the first class of this initiative in 1980. This monumental choice ultimately turned into a fruitful career and one of the best decisions of his life. His father was extremely pleased when Robert accepted the appointment to become a State Police Officer.
Shortly after starting the Pennsylvania State Police, Robert and Sheila gave birth to their first child, James Johnson on February 10, 1980. A couple years later, they had their second child, Victoria Johnson on October 1, 1984. Robert’s dream was to have his kids raised in Abington, PA and they did. James went on to graduate from Abington High School with high scholastic honors and furthered his education to achieve both is undergraduate and MBA from Stanford University. Victoria also graduated from Abington High school, went on to become a Registered Dietitian and also achieved her MBA in Healthcare Administration. Robert was so proud of both his kids, and his dreams had come true!
Robert retired as a Corporal of the Pennsylvania State Police in 2006, at the age of 55. Through this endeavor he learned lots of lessons and made life-long friendships he cherished.
In his spare time, Robert enjoyed playing chess, tennis, shooting pool, bowling, and putting puzzles together. Robert also loved working on his house, repairing, upgrading, and modifying. He took great pride in his work and he was very successful. He was an avid Philadelphia Eagles fan dating all the way back to the ‘70’s. He was overjoyed when the Eagles won their first Super bowl for the 2017 season stating, “…I waited 60+ years for this moment.” Robert also loved people and company. He was an extrovert and gained energy in the presence of others. As such, you could find him engaged in long conversations with his neighbors, friends, family, if someone needed a “life lesson” or a helping hand.
Robert held many roles in his life, from State Trooper to father/grandfather to uncle to husband to brother/ (in- law) to friend, but his most important role was being the center of his family. He loved nothing more than spending time with his entire family – nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. He was always there for his family, whether he was helping them with their driver license test, teaching them how to swim, going to their milestone celebrations such as graduations or cheering them on at their sporting events; he was there, and he showed up. Robert positively impacted his family and friends, and he will truly be missed.
Robert battled cancer over the last 5 years. Throughout his journey, he continued to show up and support his family as he always did.
Robert lived a full life; he cared and championed the ones he loved. He had a great ability to make others smile and his positive spirit will live on through his family. His will to live and the legacy he created will never be forgotten.
On Friday, March 17, 2023, surrounded by his wife, brother-in-law, and daughter, God called Robert home. He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Jean Gray. Robert is survived by: his wife, Sheila; two children, James and Victoria (Aquil); grandchildren, Ayla, Ayden, Aquil Jr., Aquira; sisters, Joyce Glover and Renee Davis; brother, John Johnson; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
“Bob, your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure… You are loved beyond words, and missed beyond measure…”
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