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Robert Spencer Johnson

February 1, 1928 ~ October 16, 2020 (age 92)

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Robert Spencer Johnson (Bob) died on October 16, 2020, at home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Portland, Maine on February 1, 1928. He graduated from Classical High School Springfield MA in 1945. 

He earned both his Bachelor’s Degree in English (1950)and his Master’s Degree (1954) from the University of Wisconsin. He received his Ed.D. in Linguistics from Columbia University in 1968.


Bob was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps (1946-1947).


In 1951, he married the love of his life, Cynthia Hardy, in Providence, Rhode Island.


Early in his teaching career he taught both Physics and English. In 1958, the family moved to Long Island, NY where Bob taught English at Herricks Junior High School and Shelter Rock Middle School in the Herricks School District (NY) from 1958 until he retired in 1990.Additionally he was the English Department Chair. In his professional life, editing and teaching Creative Writing gave him great pleasure. 


Bob and Cynthia spent over 40 years summering in Tinmouth, Vermont, which they continued to do after they retired to Cocoa Beach, Florida. Opera was his passion. His other interests included sailing, genealogy, and doing The New York Times crossword puzzle in pen with Cynthia. Bob loved to make engineering drawings and turn them into devices, especially things that made life easier for Cynthia. His advice was always ”There is no such thing as a simple project.”


He was a member of Friendship Fellowship at Pineda, a Unitarian Universalist congregation in Rockledge, Florida.


He was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Cynthia Hardy Johnson, who passed away on September 18, 2020.


He is survived by his four daughters Sherry Johnson (Kim Harbaugh) of Tinmouth, Vermont; Holly Rousseau of Coventry, Rhode Island; April Wyckoff (Gary) of Clinton New York; and Laurel Swenson (Alan) of Chesapeake Virginia.


He is survived by his four grandsons: Alan Swenson (Ashley Begin) of Minneapolis Minnesota; Michael Swenson (Serena) of Mechanicsville, Virginia; Garret Wyckoff of Buffalo, New York; and Claesen Wyckoff of Rome, New York.


He is also survived by his two great grandsons, Gavin and Brody Swenson of Mechanicsville, Virginia.


A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.


Memorial donations can be made to The Tinmouth Scholarship Fund, c/o Cathy Reynolds, 143 Channel Road, Tinmouth VT 05773 with the notation “Robert and Cynthia Johnson Scholarship Fund”.  










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