Golf 03

Robert Thomas Johnson Jr.

April 14, 1944 ~ April 15, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old


Robert Thomas Johnson, Jr passed away peacefully at his home on April 15 after a brief illness. Bob graduated from the University of Michigan magna cum laude in 1966 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. He then attended the University of Chicago Law School and graduated in 1969 with honors under The Order of the Coif. After clerking in the federal courts for Judge Bernard Decker, he joined the law firm Bell, Boyd & Lloyd (now known as K&L Gates). After 35 years of practice and becoming a partner, he retired to Naples, Florida and became General Counsel and a member of the Board of Trustees for The Napoleon Hill Foundation. He also served 47 years as legal counsel to Parts Plus Automotive Distribution Network and the Pronto Network Cooperative, Inc.

Bob was born in Chicago, Illinois to Robert Thomas Johnson, Sr., and Elizabeth Robinson Johnson. He was preceded in death by his older sister, Beverly Johnson, of Winfield, Illinois, and survived by his younger sister, Laura Johnson (Vickie Hess) of Naples, Florida. After retiring to Naples in 2000, Bob and his wife, Betsie, spent many happy years with friends and family. In 2015, Bob and Betsie relocated to Pasadena, California. Bob is survived by his loving family, his wife Betsie Johnson, his son Blake Johnson (Lisa Johnson), his daughter Beth Johnson (Josh Epstein), and his grandchildren Davis, Gage and Carter Johnson and Iris, Leigh and Penny Epstein. 

Childhood sweethearts, Bob and Betsie were happily married for 58 years. He was a beloved father and cherished and loving grandfather, who always had a stash of candy in his pockets for the grandchildren, who called him Bobby. He was an avid reader and also an author, having published numerous credited and uncredited articles and books on subjects that interested him (The Three Stooges, Lizzie Borden, and much more). A part-time golfer who usually won the longest divot contest and occasionally brought the clubhouse or nearby housing into play, Bob once used a four iron to score a hole-in-one while playing the third hole at Glen Oak Country Club with Betsie. A hobbyist jogger, Bob once completed the Chicago Marathon without training or an official race number. As a lifelong fan of New Orleans-style jazz music, he was President for many years of the Maestro’s, a jazz band in Pasadena, California. The only non-musical member, Bob was the resident fan and a tremendous champion of the organization. 

At his request, a small, private remembrance will be held for immediate family.  If you are so moved, in lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to charities that Bob supported: The Evans Scholars Foundation, which supports young golfers in need, and Prevent Child Abuse America.

Best friend to many and enemy to none, Bob had a well-deserved reputation for intelligence, good humor, and wit. He is remembered with joy by those who were lucky enough to know him.



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