He grew up in Steele, Mo., and joined the military along with three of his brothers. After completing his service to our country in World War II, he returned to Missouri, found Christ at a tent revival and met the love of his life, Betty Medlin. He asked for her hand in marriage two times, and Betty’s father finally consented. Bob and Betty married on Jan. 13, 1948. They then moved to Cleveland to attend Lee College and began building a life together that has been both an adventure and an example of two people totally devoted to God and each other.
After completion of his doctorate, he returned to Lee University and served as dean of the Education Department. He was instrumental in establishing Lee’s first Student Teaching Program. Some of his richest moments were spent in teaching, preaching, administrating and sharing the Gospel in creative and practical ways, from Tennessee to Missouri to Alaska to Texas to Virginia to North Dakota, then on to Ohio and back to Tennessee.
His marriage of 65 years brought about three sons and four daughters: Regina Isom, Yaunna Higgins, Dennis Johnson and Rebble Johnson, all of Cleveland, Byron Johnson of Waco, Texas, Tanya Hall of Richmond, Va., and Jill Micco of Mount Juliet. God has blessed his family with 17 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. He has said for years, they never had to count sheep in order to fall asleep. He and Betty would simply start praying for each of their children and their spouses, then each grandchild and their spouses and then the great-grandchildren. It was suggested by the younger great-grandchildren that birth order be reversed every other day, thereby ensuring the youngest great-grandchildren would be prayed for, in the event exhaustion set in.
Favorite family memories include Johnson reunions where “testimony night” from each family was the highlight. After testimonies, Bob would lead the family in prayer time, which would sometimes last till the early morning hours. Although he was a man of remarkable gifts and numerous accomplishments, his humility reminded him that nothing could compare with the joy that awaited him in Heaven. Dr. Bob Johnson has now been reunited with his praying mother who led him to Christ, his dad, numerous siblings, which include four brothers whom he was instrumental in leading to the Lord. His Legacy continues in those he has inspired, instructed, and empowered to live a purposeful life worthy of the Lord!
A Celebration of the Life and Home Going of Bob Johnson will be held at 3:30 p.m., Thursday, March 7, 2013, at the Lee University Chapel with Pastor Mitch Maloney and the Rev. Phil Higgins officiating.
Interment will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Chattanooga National Cemetery.
The family will receive friends Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lee University Chapel.
The family requests that memorials be made to Lee University School of Education, Attn. Central Gifts, 1120 N. Ocoee Street, Cleveland TN 37320-3450.
Grissom Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Johnson family guest book at www.grissomfh.net.