Robert H. Johnson (Bob) passed away on Monday, December 28, 2020. He was 99 ½ years old, at peace and looking forward to seeing his Lord. Born in Rapid City, SD, Bob moved to Battle Creek with his family as a young boy. Bob was the oldest of nine siblings. The dust bowl era forced his family to seek better times in Battle Creek. Bob spent much of his teen years farming for room and board on various farms. He graduated from Battle Creek Central in 1940. He married Evelyn A. Driver in 1941. They were married 77 years before Evelyn's passing in 2019. Bob served in the army during WWII with the 89th Infantry. He and Evelyn had four children. Bob spent most of his work life running his business, Bob's Portable Welding, on 4 Mile Road. He was known by his customers as the guy who could fix anything. His welding business served mostly farmers, but included several area businesses. Bob also loved farming his 33 acres, as well as land he would rent for hay baling.
He and Evelyn were members of the Sonoma United Methodist Church for over 60 years where they volunteered in numerous activities. Bob was the go-to guy for mechanical help at the church. He loved helping at church or helping friends in the neighborhood. He and Evelyn helped with numerous church suppers over the years. Bob loved square dancing, and he and Evelyn met many of their long time friends through square dancing.
Having lived in the Sonoma area most of his adult life, Bob had an incredible knowledge of the history and the people. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him!
Bob is survived by sons, Steve (Ann) Johnson (Manistee), Howard (Kathleen) Johnson (Battle Creek), Clif (Julie) Johnson (Ann Arbor), and daughter Julie Cain ( Battle Creek): Grandchildren Ron (Amy) Johnson (Bear Lake, MI), Jennifer ( Damian) Andrews (Battle Creek), Michael (Bre) Johnson ( Battle Creek), Christopher (Kelli) Johnson (Ypsilanti), Marguerite (Aaron) Davenport (Battle Creek), Logan Cain (Kalamazoo), Emily Johnson (Ann Arbor), 11 great grandchildren, and 3 great, great grandchildren, and four siblings, Lyle (Marge) Johnson, Lila Latham, Bonnie (Claud) McMillan, and Sylvia (Bob) Parmelee.
He is also survived by his Amsbury step grandsons, (Steve (Ann): Scot (Mary), Steve (Laura), Bill (Kim), Terry (Carol), Paul (Stacey), Mike (Chris); 14 step great grandchildren and 2 step great, great grandchildren.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Julia and Robert, his wife Evelyn, Brothers Marvin, Laverne, Larry, and sister Bess Haddrill and granddaughter Cynthia Johnson.
Visitation will be held from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, January 2, 2021 at the Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 2838 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015. The funeral service will be held at the funeral home on Sunday, January 3, 2021 at 11 a.m., officiated by Pastor John Adams. A graveside service will follow the funeral at Floral Lawn Memorial Gardens in Battle Creek. **Due to Covid-19 social distancing and public gathering protocols will be followed. In honor of Bob's memory, lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the NRA, 11250 Waples Mill Road, Fairfax, VA 22030, https://donate.nra.org/donate. Memorial contributions may be mailed to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 2838 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015, and they will be delivered to the family. Please visit https://www.kempffuneralhome.com to view the online obituary, sign the guest book or leave messages for the family.
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