Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson
Robert Johnson

Obituary of Robert L. Johnson

Olean - Robert L. "Bob" Johnson "Beloved Husband, Dad, Granddad, and Friend" Robert L. "Bob" Johnson, formerly of 1305 Kamery Road, went home to be with his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, at the Olean General Hospital, following a brief illness, surrounded by the love of his closest family. Bob was born on June 29, 1926 in Jamestown and was the son of Oscar Harvey and Lillian Leopard Johnson. On Aug. 24, 1949, in Ithaca, NY, he married his loving wife to whom he was devoted to for 36 years, Helen Marie Corbett, who predeceased him on Jan. 10, 1986. After his first wife died, he fell in love and married on May 16, 1987, at their church, First Presbyterian Church of Olean, Marie L. Balduf Comstock, who predeceased him on Oct. 19, 2018. He was also devoted to Marie and enjoyed 31 1/2 happy years of marriage with his loving wife. Bob graduated from Jamestown High School in 1944. He attended Allegheny College, where he transferred into Cornell University through the Navy V-12 program and graduated from Cornell University in 1947 with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree. Bob was a member of the Big Red Band, and the Theta Chi Fraternity. After his marriage to Helen, Bob and his wife relocated to Olean, NY. They moved to McCann Hollow Road where they raised their family. He worked at Clark Brothers (now Dresser Rand) from 1947 to his retirement in 1983, as a test engineer and department head. Bob enjoyed his work. The engineering challenges and occasional travel to out of the way locations in Venezuela, Algeria, and Brazil. Bob was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the National Management Association (NMA). Bob was a founding member of the Town of Olean Fire Department and served as a volunteer fireman, commissioner and secretary for over 50 years. He was active in the Presbyterian Church and served multiple times as deacon, session member and clerk of session. Bob helped found the Olean Association of Churches and received the Good News Award in 1992 from the Olean Chamber of Commerce for his volunteer work. He and his wife, Marie, were active in environmental causes as a members of Concerned Citizens of Cattaraugus County including working against the Farmersville dump and hydro-fracking. Bob and Marie were transportation volunteers for InterFaith Caregivers and members of Reel Squares and Enchanted Mountain Square Dance clubs. He was active in Boy Scouts and received the Silver Beaver award for his volunteer involvement. One of the highlights was the annual canoe trip which took the scouts down the Allegheny River. Bob was also a member of the planning Committee for the Olean Senior League and the Genesee Valley Balloon Association. Bob’s great passions were his family, music, and all things that related to water at the family cottage on Chautauqua Lake. He loved tinkering with mechanical things that would allow him to launch a boat or put in the dock with minimal physical strain. Bob shared his love for sailing, waterskiing, biking, canoeing, hiking, and both Alpine and cross-country skiing with his family. At the cottage, he enjoyed taking visitors and family members on cruises down the Chadakoin River in a mahogany boat built by his father. Bob also loved listening to and playing music. He played his clarinet in the Twin Tiers Community Band for many years. Bob and Marie loved crewing for hot air balloon flights piloted by their special friends, Jenny and Geoffrey Turner. They also enjoyed traveling to many countries through the Elder Hostel program and their yearly trips to the Cayman Islands. Bob was lovingly cared for in the last several years by his daughter by marriage, Jan. She was his caregiver and advocate, allowing him to stay at home as long as possible. Jan was always at Bob’s side through the ups and downs of his health and he was thankful for her devoted care. Bob felt blessed to have had two loving wives and their families. Bob is survived by; 3 children, Barbara Busack of Cuba, David (Sue Landis) Johnson of Ithaca, and Dr. Charles (Kathy Pickup) Johnson of Palm Desert, CA; a daughter by marriage, Jan Comstock; a daughter-in-law by marriage, Barbara Ann Comstock; his grandchildren, Rob Busack, Catie (Alex) Getty, Dr. Chris Johnson, Jamie Johnson, Matt Johnson; his grandchildren by marriage, Diana Comstock, Jim (Keri) Comstock, John Jay (Taylor) Comstock, his great grandchild, Henry Getty; and his great grandchildren by marriage Alyssia Taggerty, Matt Comstock, Kirsten Comstock, Allayna Comstock, Dresden Comstock, and Izzabella Comstock. Along with his parents, and his loving wives, Bob was predeceased by a brother Marvin Roy Johnson in 1924, his son-in-law, John Busack, and his son by marriage, John Comstock. Friends will be received at the First Presbyterian Church of Olean, 212 Laurens Street, Olean, on Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm, at which time an informal luncheon will be served. A Celebration of Bob's Life will be held following the luncheon at 1:00 pm. The Rev. Bruce Levine, Pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in Mt. View Cemetery in Olean, New York. Arrangements are under the direction of the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc., 646 E. State Street, Olean. Online condolences may be made at In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to the Town of Olean Fire Department, for equipment needs, 1297 Old Rock City Road, Olean, New York 14760, to the Fannie Bartlett House and Museum Preservation Fund, established in honor of Marie and Bob Johnson, in care of, Mayor Bill Aiello at the Olean Municipal Building, 101 East State Street, Olean, New York 14760, to the Mt. View Cemetery for their Restoration Projects, P.O. Box 1044, Olean, New York 14760, The Comstock Center for the advancement of Hospice Care at 1225 West State Street, Olean, New York 14760, or to a charity/cause close to your heart. Condolences to the family may be sent to the home at 1305 Kamery Road, Olean, New York 14760. The family would like to especially thank Jenny and Geoff for their devotion and Dr. K. Fanos, Jen Lyons RN, Angela Harvey RN, and Kim Chase for the special care and advocacy that they gave to Bob.
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