Robert “Bob” Nels Johnson, 72, passed away peacefully on June 9, 2019, with his family by his side. Bob was born on August 27, 1946 to his late parents Arthur and Syme Johnson. He grew up in Virginia, Minnesota with his older brother Arthur Jr., who predeceased him.
After graduating high school, Bob enlisted in the Army. During his active duty, he was awarded a National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Sharpshooter Badge. After two years of service in the Army, he was honorably discharged to attend college and raise his family. Bob attained his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Bob and his family relocated to Phoenix, Arizona in 1982, where he continued his career with the U.S. Postal Service. He retired in 2004, after 35 years of service.
Even after relocating to Arizona, Bob spent almost every summer at his family cabin on Lake Vermilion in Northern Minnesota. He had built this cabin alongside his brother and parents in the early 1950’s. Although it was modest in size, it was a grand meeting place for family barbecues in the summers. In more recent years, Bob enjoyed cruising the lake in his boat, golfing with his brother Art and cousin John, and meeting up with old high school friends that are still in the area.
Back home in Arizona, Bob spent many years taking pleasure in his favorite hobbies; cooking, gardening and gold panning. He also loved going to car shows, watching Arizona’s sports teams on tv and trying out the newest pizza joints in town. But more than anything, Bob derived the most joy from spending time with his family. Whether it was family dinners, holiday celebrations, or attending the grandkids’ sporting events, being with his family is what made Bob happy.
In 1995, Bob was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. After a few months with an artificial heart, he was given the ultimate gift of life – a donated heart from a young man who selflessly donated his organs. Bob survived an unprecedented 24 years with this young man’s donated heart – years that his family will always treasure.
Bob will be remembered by his loving and devoted family: fiancé Reva Tegtmeier; son Brian (Debra); daughter Kyra (Ryan Linder); three grandchildren Riley, Ashton and Dylan; and nieces Rondi Frosig and family and Gayle Monteon and family. A small memorial service will be held at National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona on Friday, June 21st at 12:30pm. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial donations be made to Donate Life AZ.Print Obituary & Condolences