Robert J. Johnson

February 24, 2021
Robert J. Johnson

Robert “Bob” Joseph Johnson, 91, of Williamsburg, VA, formerly of Hillsborough, NH, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on February 24th.

Bob was born on January 20, 1930, to Joseph and Helga Johnson in Weston, MA. He graduated from Boston University and began his career in Hillsborough, NH, at Osram/Sylvania. His 30+ years as Personnel Manager was a perfect fit for such a people person. In 1957, Bob met his wife Gail through mutual friends, and a love affair began that lasted 63 years. Bob and Gail resided in Hillsborough for more than 55 years where they raised four children. Bob was a fixture in the community where he was actively involved as a founder of a local bank, real estate developer, member of Smith Memorial Congregational Church, advocate for vocational and higher education on a local and state level, and appointee to the NH State Board of Appeals. He was especially proud all his children graduated from college as he was a first generation college graduate.

After an early retirement, Bob and Gail began circumventing the globe which took them on unimaginable adventures. It was easy for him to make friends as he never considered anyone a stranger. All who knew Bob will miss his incredible stories and sense of humor. In his spare time he was a skilled gardener, accomplished woodworker, and an amazing breadmaker. “Make it, bake it, sew it, or grow it” is the family motto that lives on as part of his legacy.

Bob especially loved spending time with his family and planning the annual summer camp for his grandchildren when they were little. The agenda always included buckets of winter snow he stored for fun in the hot July sun and fireworks because they were always a part of the Johnson family experience. As everyone has grown, Bob looked forward to family reunions with the ever growing group. Bob was predeceased by his parents, his brother Henry (Dorothy, deceased), niece Lauren and nephew David. Bob is survived by his sister Elinor, his loving wife Gail, his children, Pam Cantor (Rich), Linda Hatfield (David), Cindy Wray (Mark) and Rob Johnson (Megan), his seven grandchildren, Taylor Wray, Abby Wray (Jessie), Katie Tucker (Rob), Adam and Sarah Cantor, Nathan and Zachary Johnson and two great grandchildren, Teddy and Poppy as well as many nieces and nephews.

At Bob’s request, his body has been donated for the advancement of science. A celebration of his life is being planned for the future.


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  • March 03, 2021
    Cindy Roantree Butera says:
    Mrs Johnson (as i called you for so many years!) - my heart goes out to you and the family .... Your house was a place of fun and alot of good times ...... Mr Johnson is now with my mom and dad ...... let them have some fun and tell some stories!!! Love to you ........

  • March 04, 2021
    Alanna Krill says:
    Growing up in the church, he was always Mr. Johnson. One year he was my partner at the church retreat and became Bob. After that he was always someone I would be sure to seek out and spend time with. He will be missed by so many. Sending our condolences to all who loved Bob.

  • March 04, 2021
    Pamela Stohrer says:
    Gail, our friendship with you and Bob was a highlight of our life in Hillsborough. JP and I are sorry beyond words to hear that Bob has left this world, and we carry love in our hearts for you and your family.

  • March 06, 2021
    Gloria and Mike Reopel says:
    So sorry to hear of Bob's passing, when we picked up the Messenger this weekend in Hillsboro. You and Bob were such good neighbors while we lived there in Hillsboro. Please extend our condolences to your family. I can remember from reading the obituary some of the family members you talked to me about. With deepest sympathy on his passing. He will be missed!

  • March 07, 2021
    Lois Wilmot says:
    Bob hired me way back in 1983. He was my supervisor at Osram Sylvania until his retirement a few years later. Thanks to him taking a chance on hiring an inexperienced “kid” like me, I had a lengthy and rewarding career there until my own recent retirement. He was a welcoming guy with a great sense of humor, and just an overall nice guy. I enjoyed running into him in town on occasion over the years. Gail - My sincere condolences to you and your family.