Captain Robert (Bob) Carroll Johnson, a long time Groton resident, died unexpectedly on May 17, 2020, at the age of 66.
Bob was born April 10, 1954, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Mary Pat (Carroll) and Eric W. Johnson. His family lived several places in upstate New York, then moved to Burlington, Vermont during his high school years.
Bob proudly attended the Air Force Academy in Colorado, graduating in 1976, and then served as a pilot in the US Air Force for 8 years. He began at the Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, where he was an instructor pilot. From 1979-1984, while based out of Travis Air Force Base in California, he flew C-5 Galaxy transport planes all over the world.
Bob worked for IBM in eastern Massachusetts for 19 years, training and doing consultant work around business printers for several corporations. For the past 13 years, he has been working for TeleMessage in Acton and as the Veterans Services Officer for the Town of Groton.
In 1991, Bob moved to Groton, where he was an active and widely visible member in the community. In addition to the veterans services office, he has organized the Memorial Day parade for the past 20 years. People fondly remember the industrial sized pans of lasagna he cooked for various events. Participating in the Nashoba Valley Amateur Radio Club was another area of interest, and it led to his helping at public service events, such as helping with emergency communication at road races. He was a committee member of area Boy Scout troops 1 and 13.
Long active in the American Legion, Bob was the adjutant of Post 55 in Groton and District 5 in Eastern Massachusetts and the chair of the state American Legion Oratorical Contest. He was a past commander of both Post 55 and District 5. He enthusiastically helped out with their activities in various ways.
Bob had a strong faith. He was enthusiastically involved in activities at Saint James Catholic Church, including his duties as a lector and active member of the choir. He was also a 4th degree member of the Knights of Columbus.
Trains had been an area of high interest for Bob since early childhood. He read and researched railroad lines all over the country and often went to check things out for himself. Trains are how he preferred to travel distances as an adult, despite his years in the Air Force. Bob was the secretary of a local model railroad club, the Nashua Valley Railroad Association. He liked to share his interest with others, especially children, at the Christmas shows they put on. Friends and family looked forward to the train-themed Christmas cards he had sent for the past 40 years, never repeating a card to any person.
Bob enjoyed opportunities for some traveling, speaking most fondly of a touring trip to Iceland, based on some family ties. He would take train trips across the country, enjoying the scenery, especially through the northern Rocky and Sierra mountain ranges.
Bob is survived by his mother, Mary Pat (Carroll) Brigham of Northfield, Vermont; his stepmother, Anne Johnson of Blacksburg, Virginia; a sister, Alice Johnson of Swanton, Vermont; a brother, Mark Johnson of Austin, Texas; his nieces, Callie Rasmussen and Marta and her husband Nick Poling; a nephew, Karl Johnson; a step-sister and -brothers, aunts, uncles, and cousins from Massachusetts, Virginia, North and South Carolina, Florida, California, and Ireland.
Bob is predeceased by his father Eric W. Johnson and step-mother, Barbara Johnson.
Friends and family will remember Bob for his willingness to go out of his way for others, his faith, hard work, dry sense of humor and his chip and nut bars.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Bob on Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 11:00 am in Our Lady of Grace Parish, 28 Tarbell St., Pepperell. In keeping with the guidelines provided by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please observe social distancing regulations. Face coverings required.
To attend Robert's funeral remotely please click:
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to make a donation in his name are encouraged to donate to the following:
DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Charitable Service Trust,
3725 Alexandria Pike
Cold Spring, KY 41076
Wounded Warriors Family Support,
11218 John Galt Boulevard Suite 103
Omaha, NE 68137