Robert 'Bob' E. Johnson, age 97, of Hamden, passed away on March 11, 2013. Born in New Haven on August 30, 1915, he was a son of the late Adolph & Edna Robbins Johnson. Robert is survived by his wife of 70 years, E. Virginia Vickrey Johnson; his sons, Ronald Johnson & his wife Linda and Keith Johnson all of Hamden; his daughters, Jennifer Johnson & her husband Arthur W. of North Haven and Dianne Clifford of Portland, OR; his daughter in-law, Jill Johnson-Noel & her husband John Noel; his grandchildren Tynika, Shandel, Dayna, Jessica, Ashley & Rob; his great grandchildren Ayla & Nerys and his brother Howard Johnson of Branford. Robert was predeceased by his son Gregory Johnson and his grandson Brian. A graduate of Hillhouse High School, Mercersburg Prep in Pennsylvania, Ohio State University and received his Masters Degree & Sixth Year Degree from Southern Connecticut State University. He was a competitive swimmer and an aquatic safety instructor with many accomplishments which lead to his induction into the International Hall of Fame. While at Ohio State he was a National Swimming Champion, he won the Cross Harbor Swim in New Haven and held many swim records at Mercersburg Prep. He volunteered as an official for the Special Olympics, the Senior Olympics and US Swimming Competitions. Robert volunteered at the Red Cross for over 50 years, the AAU and he coached and taught at the Branford Middle School. For his 70 years as a swimming teacher, coach, water safety instructor and safety official, he received the Paragon Award from the ISHOF. Robert was the vice president of the former Bellmore - Johnson Tool Co. in Hamden and former swim coach and physical education teacher for over 20 years at Yale University. A WWII Veteran, he was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy, Robert spent most of his life in Hamden, his summers in Mansfield Grove in East Haven and he always enjoyed playing the piano. His funeral will be held privately with his family. Arrangements are in care of BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Ave, Hamden. In lieu of flowers contributions in Robert's memory may be made to the American Red Cross, 703 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511.

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  1. Dear Virgina and Jennifer We send our heart felt condolences for the loss of your dear husband and father. He was a wonderful man who we are grateful to have known. Barbara and Nancy Stuart, Florida

  2. I’m sure that Bob and Gramma Bear are sitting at the piano entertaining everyone in Heaven! Bob was a wonderful man and we will all miss him so much.

  3. Summer at Mansfield’s Grove will never be the same without Uncle Bob, but he leaves us memories that will never fade. He was by far the best swim teacher and coach that I ever knew.

  4. To my wonderful father in law your at peace now with Greg and Brian and I know that you are happy there I will always keep in my prayers and my heart Love your favorite daughter in law Linda

  5. We’re so sorry to hear about Mr. Johnson’s passing. Our thoughts are with all of you. The Johnson family is such a big part of Mansfield Grove’s history. He will be missed.

  6. Dear Virginia and family, I had the fun of teaching with Bob at BIS (Branford Intermediate School). He was always a gentlemen and and great guy to be with. He often spoke of his Virginia,and I know I met you a few times. I never saw anyone except Bob who could walk on the walls under water of a pool! He was some gentlemen in many ways. Please accept my very sincere sympathy in the passing of a good man. Cathy McGuirk

  7. So many warm memories of Bob. He was the master of swimming, and enjoyed sharing his love of the water. He was very kind to me, and I always have had a fond spot for him in my heart. He’ll stay with us in our memories, so many fascinating stories we all can tell. I always loved listening to him tell stories (He witnessed a lot in 97 years!!) and playing either the piano or the organ. I will miss him.

  8. To all the Johnson’s: Condolences on the passing of a truly wonderful man! From his influence on us growing up at the Grove and teaching the finer points of swimming to his charming ways with our three daughters when they first met him. .Who was that cute little old man, dad. was their comment. One of the Grove’s greatest was my reply. We will always cherish the memories he created.

  9. To the Johnson Family, My deepest Sympathy on the passing of your Husband, Father,and Father In Law. I had the pleasure to know Mr Johnson, he was a very kind and special Man, whom I am so glad I got to meet. He had such a sense of Humor, always played the piano for me , of course, I had to pick a note and he would just make a special song up, very talented! May he Rest In Peace, you certainly have wonderful memories of him and were very, very good to him. God Bless. Sincerely, Cheryl Hurst.

  10. The family of Ernest and Christine Cimino send our condolences on the passing of Bob. He was a wonderful neighbor and will be missed by his friends from Gilbert Avenue. May he rest in peace…. THE CIMINO FAMILY

  11. I have just been looking at pictures of Uncle Bob and Aunt Virginia’s last visit to Abbeville. I remember how we always marveled at his preference to swim in the Gulf of Mexico in the winter months. We also marveled at his ability on the piano and his joy of life. I will always remember him.

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