Staff Sgt. Robert “Bob” Eugene Johnston Sr. passed away peacefully on Sunday, August 28, 2022 at his home after a nearly three-year battle with ALS. He was born on July 17, 1955 to Joseph Hardie and Laura Johnston in Memphis, Tennessee.
Bob is survived by three brothers, all from Kentucky, J. Johnston (Rhonda), Hal Johnston (Rita), and Hayes Johnston. Bob spent his 67 years dedicated to his family and his faith.
He was predeceased by his first wife, Virginia Rhea “Jinny” Winfrey Johnston. They married on August 23, 1975, and spent nearly 38 years moving around the country for Bob’s career in the Marine Corps. They raised and are survived by four children, Robert Eugene Johnston II (Sharon) of Somerville, Tennessee, Joseph Allen Johnston (Crystal) of Somerville, Tennessee, Heather Faye Johnston of Somerville, Tennessee, and Patrick Rhea Johnston (Janay) of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
He enlisted in the Marine Corps on April 30, 1976. He completed recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. He served for nine years, seven months and three days and performed duties such as Aircraft Flight Control and Air Data Computer Systems Technician in Tustin, Calif., and Instructor at the School of Electricians at the aviation, Mate A School. In June 1977 he was deployed to Okinawa, Japan as part of the Rapid Deployment Force. After being placed on the list of temporary disabled retirees, Bob and Jinny, his wife, would retire to their family home in Somerville, Tennessee, where she would later pass from her battle with lupus on January 11, 2013.
He married the second love of his life, Tracy Johnson on October 25, 2014. They moved to Hohenwald, Tennessee in 2018. In 2019, Bob became a devoted member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church. Bob and Tracy began their medical journey with ALS in August 2019 with an official diagnosis in November 2021. They were married for nearly eight years. He is also survived by four stepchildren, Kevin Lloyd Kelley (Laura) of Hernando, Mississippi, Jonathan Lloyd Kelley of Memphis, Tennessee, Rachel Lynn Stimpson of Bartlett, Tennessee and Jessica Lynn Kelley of Memphis, Tennessee. Known as “Granddaddy” and “BeeBob”, he is survived by 10 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.
Tuesday, August 2, 2022, Staff. Sgt Robert E. Johnston Sr., alongside his son, Robert E. Johnston II, participated in the promotion ceremony for his grandson, Sgt Robert E. Johnston III at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Funeral Mass will be held from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, September 3, 2022 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 610 Kimmins St., Hohenwald, TN 38462, with a 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. visitation at the church. At a later date, Bob will be buried alongside his first wife, Jinny, at Peeble Cemetery in Somerville, Tennessee. Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Friday, September 2, 2022 at Heritage Funeral Home, 609 Bear Creek Pike, Columbia, TN 38401.
Heritage Funeral Home in Columbia, TN is helping the family make arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to the Wounded Warriors Foundation, if desired.
You can share your condolences with the family on the Heritage Funeral Home website: www.TnFunerals.com.