Robert Franklin Johnson, 92, of Youngdale, died at his home on Tuesday, February 2, 2022. Known to all as “Bobby”, he was born July 21, 1929, the son of George S. and Alice Knarr Johnson. He is survived by his sister Betty L. Workman of Lock Haven, niece Carol Andrus of Dunnstown, great nieces Patty Andrus of McElhattan, Tammy (Robert) Dauber of Williamsport, Jamie (Brent) Baldwin of Ada, Oklahoma, and great-nephew James Jr. (Becky) Andrus of McElhattan, as well as numerous great-great nieces and -nephews, and many cousins including James and Judy Lovette of Lock Haven.
Bobby was a veteran of the United States Air Force, enlisting in 1947 and retiring in 1969 as a Master Sergeant. Initially assigned to an Air Police squadron during the Berlin Airlift, he subsequently applied for pararescue training and spent almost the next 20 years as a rescue parachutist and diver assigned to what was then-called the Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service. Bobby made over 350 parachute jumps during his career, as well as participated in helicopter rescue operations, in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the United States. While stationed in the U.S., Bobby was assigned to support NASA’s Mercury and Gemini spaceflight programs, parachuting and diving to recover NASA equipment and space capsules (including being the first diver to reach John Young and Gus Grissom’s Gemini 3 capsule). Bobby’s awards and qualifications included the Master Parachutist and Enlisted Aircrew Badges, Dive Badge, Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and Army Good Conduct Medals, among others.
Bobby briefly worked at Piper Aircraft before joining the service, and after retiring Bobby returned home and worked for Centre Concrete for 22 years.
Bobby was an active member of many organizations. He was a Life Member (and also an office holder) of the Wayne Township Fire Department, a board member and caretaker of the Linwood Cemetery for 30 years, volunteer caretaker of the Throne Cemetery, an Angel Food Ministries volunteer, Red Cross blood donor and an 80-year member of the McElhattan Methodist Church. He cared deeply for the Youngdale and McElhattan areas and those that live there. He loved his pets dearly.
The family wishes to thank all of those who helped care for Bobby during his illness for all the support they showed for him, and their help, and suggests that any memorials be sent to the McElhattan United Methodist Church.
A memorial service for Bobby will be held at 3:00 p.m. on March 13, 2022, at the McElhattan United Methodist Church with Rev. Jay Saldana officiating.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert F. Johnson, please visit our floral store.