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Obituary of Robert “Bob” Johnson


Robert “Bob” Johnson, 86, of Cortland, passed away Sunday, December 17, 2017 in Dayton, OH.

Bob was born on January 4, 1931 in Cortland, NY, the son of Harry and Elizabeth (McGuire) Johnson.

Bob graduated from St. Mary’s High School in Cortland in 1949, and graduated from SUNY Morrisville in 1951, studying auto mechanics. He was a dairy farmer all his life, working on the family farm until he was 80 years old. He also owned Johnson Trucking, hauling farm commodities throughout the Finger Lakes and other parts of New York.

He proposed to Mary Cunningham of Oneida, NY on Christmas Eve, 1960. They were married on June 17, 1961, and have spent every Christmas together since then, even this one. Bob loved to repair cars and farm equipment. He had a sharp mind for all things mechanical, always asking how things worked. He enjoyed being outdoors, whether he was baling hay on the farm or taking a camping trip with his family. Bob liked going to the diner for coffee breaks and talking with people. He was spontaneous and liked to joke around, but not at anyone’s expense. Bob deeply loved his wife and children. He had a very strong faith in God, and went to Mass almost every week, even when it was difficult because he was wheelchair-bound and needed oxygen. He was strong, but had a gentle heart.

He is survived by his sister, Mary Metcalf of Phoenix, AZ; children, Catherine (John) Shay of Dayton, OH, Sarah (Dale) Gornic of Erie, PA, and Patrick (Crystal) Johnson of Cortland; sisters-in-law Judith Johnson of Cortland and Elizabeth Fowler of Downingtown, PA; grandchildren, Caitlin (Geoff) Hoehn; Sydney, Alayna, and Jacob Gornic; Alex, Harmony, Brenna, and Nate Johnson; several nieces and nephews, and their families.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife Mary; their son, Michael; sister, Aileen Johnson; brother, Don Johnson; and brothers-in-law, Max Fowler, Jim Metcalf, and Joe McLoughlin.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, December 22, 2017, at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. The family will receive friends on Thursday, December 21, 2017, from 5-8 p.m. in the Chapel of Riccardi Funeral Home, 69 N. Main St., Cortland, N.Y. If desired, memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s School in Cortland.

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