Robert D. Johnson

November 15, 1936February 3, 2019

On February 3, 2019, Robert D. Johnson, 82, passed away after a short battle with brain cancer. Bob, the son of John and Elizabeth (Lowitz) Johnson, was born November 15, 1936 in St. Petersburg, Florida. He attended St. Petersburg High School, and Valley Forge Military Academy in Pennsylvania, graduating from Florida State University in 1959. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Joan Livingston Johnson, a 1966 graduate of Georgian Court College in Lakewood, New Jersey, also a brother, John W Johnson, Jr. of New York and two sons, Douglas and Ted, five grandchildren; Ryan, Kaitlyn, Kyle, Nicholas and Kelly , 17 nieces and nephews and 23 grandnieces/nephews. Following graduation and ROTC commissioning, Bob began active duty in the U. S. Army with Signal Corps assignments. Early on, he was a communications training officer in the undergrad ROTC unit at the University of Alabama. The Unit’s ceremonial rifle team often competed and traveled with the Bear Bryant football entourage. (Bob loved that he and the team had front row seats on the field!) Later, he oversaw telecommunications training at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey, was assigned a tour in Germany, and completed two combat tours in Viet Nam, with a special communications role inside the Joint Chiefs operation in Laos. Maj. Johnson was honorably discharged in 1974, after completing a liaison assignment to the office of the Secretary of the Navy where he led early conversion of GPS systems on combat ships being upgraded for return to the Far East. Using his Hotel & Restaurant Management degree he also had oversight of several overseas and domestic military officers clubs. Bob worked in and/or managed Howard Johnson’s and Emerson’s Steak House facilities. A shift to hotel management side in the Washington, DC area led happily to the meeting of Joan, his bride-to-be! Not long after their wedding, Bob decided he would like to have weekends off so he decided to apply his Army experience and took a position with the Navy Communications Telecommunications office in DC. That led quickly to oversight responsibility for secure data centers and promotion in the National Communications System for the Department of Agriculture operations. He retired from Federal service, finally, on January 1, 1996. Joan had retired the day before from the US Geological Survey. Shortly thereafter, they made a bee-line for Vero Beach. Since retiring, Bob has remained active in community affairs. He served as Secretary of the Tax Payers Association (TPA) for many years and finally had to quit the organization in order to give up that position. About 1997 he was appointed as a Board Member and for a while sat as Vice Chairman to the Indian River County (IRC) Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (MPO) Citizens Advisory Committee and to the Children’s’ Services Advisory Committee (CSAC). He also served as Vice Chair of the CSAC Grants Review Sub-Committee. Bob began attending weekly IRC Board of County Commissioners meetings on behalf of the TPA oversight focus and after he left the TPA, continued attending all meetings. In 1996 he became a member of the IRC Republican Executive Committee (REC), serving as Precinct Chairman for most of his time on the REC. With the exception of the TPA, Bob continuously served, in some capacity, on all these boards until this month. He was a member of the Republicans for Life, the IRC Republican Club and the IRC Republican Veterans Club. He was also pleased to sit on the Board of the American Security Council Foundation for many years. Since college he was a member of Delta Tau Delta fraternity of men, a life time member of Veterans of Foreign Wars and 20 year member of St. John of the Cross Catholic Church. He was a man of integrity and commitment. His subtle sense of humor could often catch you off guard. He loved his extended family and was a gentle soul whose wise council and easy smile shall be missed by many.

If you prefer a donation rather than flowers, Bob was a strong supporter of St. John of the Cross Catholic Church (7550 26th St., VB 32966), the Indian River Charter High School (6055 College Ln., VB 32966) and the American Security Council Foundation (1069 Main St., Sebastian 32958)


  • Visitation Thursday, February 14, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Friday, February 15, 2019
  • Committal Service Friday, February 15, 2019
  • Reception Friday, February 15, 2019

Robert D. Johnson

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Bea Gardner

February 6, 2019

So sorry Joan for your loss. It is hard but just keep thinking of the good times. Oh, but once in a life time to we get mated with just the right person and Robert was just the right person for you Joan.

I remember all the times I sat next to him at county commission meetings, especially when I needed advice on something. He always did his homework and never was a blowhard but knew the issues backwards and forward.

My deepest sympathy to you and may Roberts soul rest in peace.

Bea Gardner