By | September 7, 2020
Robert Allen Johns death-obituary

Robert Allen Johns dead: Robert Allen Johns cause of death – obituary – tributes

Date of death: September 5, 2020
Age: 68 year old
Cause of death: unconfimed

How did Robert Allen Johns die?

Robert Allen Johns, 68, of Midland passed away, Saturday, September 5, 2020 at the MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland. He was born in Midland, Michigan March 26, 1952, son of the late Allen and Anna May (Bamford) Johns.

Robert Allen Johns Obituary, funeral arrangement

Robert Allen Johns, 68, of Midland passed away, Saturday, September 5, 2020 at the MidMichigan Medical Center in Midland. He was born in Midland, Michigan March 26, 1952, son of the late Allen and Anna May (Bamford) Johns.

He lived in Midland his entire life, graduated from Midland High School in 1970 and was a student in the Delta College Broadcasting program at WUCM-TV 19.

Bob grew up spending summers at the family cottage on the Upper Peninsula’s Lake Michigamme, and at the Erley and Jones cottages on Lake Michigan. One summer he hiked the entire length of Isle Royale National Park.

On July 11, 1981 he married Sue Clerc of Midland. Bob and Sue enjoyed travelling, visiting especially often to Mackinac Island, where they spent their honeymoon. They enjoyed trips to Arizona, Key West, San Francisco, Austria, Germany, Las Vegas, Seattle, Orcas Island, and the Upper Peninsula; road trips to Asheville, North Carolina, Virginia, Bar Harbor, Nashville, Toronto, Chicago, where they once attended a taping of NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me at the Chase Bank Auditorium in Downtown Chicago”; Detroit Tigers spring training in Lakeland, Florida, and their games at Comerica Park, and Loons games at Dow Diamond. Prior to their 25th wedding anniversary Bob took ballroom dancing lessons with Sue, and then spent their anniversary on Mackinac Island dancing to the Grand Hotel Orchestra in the Ballroom of the Grand Hotel. Bob enjoyed their annual trips to Stratford, Ontario, Canada with Sue and her sister and brother-in-law to attend Stratford Festival theatre productions. In recent years Bob and Sue especially enjoyed attending Northwood University and CMU women’s basketball games.

Bob’s career as a video/audio specialist spanned 48 years in video and audiovisual services; cable TV headend operations, corporate video production with the Dow Chemical Corporate Communications video production unit; executive presentations, conference services, and later as a contractor in satellite broadcasting, and industrial-educational audio/video systems integration. In semi-retirement he was a contract operations engineer in the studios of the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University, WMHW-FM and Moore Hall Television (MHTV).

Bob was very active in the community. A member of the Midland Area Community Foundation since 1982, he was involved with Foundation projects at the Tridge; the Riverfront Development Committee, and the RIVERDAYS summer festival committee, working tirelessly staging the event every summer. Bob served on the Foundation’s Courthouse Christmas Lighting Committee and worked every Christmas as an “Elf”, Santa’s assistant at the Santa House. In 2003, Bob was presented with the Midland Area Community Foundation’s “Giving Tree Award” in recognition of his service. In 2018 he received the inaugural Midland Area Community Foundation/Midland Chamber of Commerce “Midland Citizenship Award”. Bob served two terms on the City of Midland Parks and Recreation Commission as well as two terms on the Midland County Parks and Recreation Commission in positions as Commissioner, Committee Chair, Secretary and President. During his time on the County Commission, construction of the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail of Mid-Michigan commenced. During his time with City Parks, Upper Emerson Park, Grove Park and Central Park developments took place. He was a charter member of the Friends of the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail. He rode his bicycle with the Tri-City Cyclists, bicycled the Menominee River Metric Century in Wisconsin and, with Sue, biked across the Mackinac Bridge on several “Big Mac” bike tours. At one time or another in his life he: swung a hammer for Habitat for Humanity, coordinated the water stations for the Dow 5k Run, walked for CROP and Warmth, was a corner marshal for the Downtown Midland Blue Care Network bicycle races, ran a television camera for MCTV at Great Lakes Loons games and Midland High athletic events.

Anyone who knew “Roadie” Bob knew his passion for technical theatre: lighting, sound, projection, stage crew, special effects, pyrotechnics, video, set design and scenery construction. He started in the sixth grade with the Midland Little Theatre Guild on Larkin Street–the Little Theatre building was formerly St. John’s Episcopal Church, the building where he had been baptized. He was a member of St. Johns and served as an acolyte in his youth. In junior high and high school, he was on the stage crew at Central Intermediate School Auditorium, running the lights and sound for Midland Music Society productions, Community Concerts and film projectionist for the Kiwanis Travel & Adventure Series of travelogue movies. He was Stage Manager of the Midland Symphony Orchestra at Central Auditorium, and later at the newly-built Midland Center for the Arts. Bob was involved in almost every stage production in the MCFTA Little Theatre or Auditorium for the first ten years, from the time it was built in 1970. Bob had the distinct opportunity of working with Alden Dow on two theatrical works that Alden commissioned.

He designed and ran the lights for a Theatre Guild show, a Teenage Musicals show, and a Music Society production, not knowing future wife Sue was in the cast or chorus of those productions! He continued to be active backstage at the Midland Center for the Arts for over 50 years, working MATRIX: Midland events and exhibit installations in the Hall of Ideas. He also served several terms on the Theatre Guild Board of Managers, and was the Theatre Guild representative to the Center for the Arts Board and Center Stage Theatre Advisory Board. In 1985 he was presented with the prestigious Theatre Guild “STAGECRAFTER” award in recognition of his years of service to the Theatre Guild. In 2011, on Midland Center for the Arts “Salute to the Arts” night at Dow Diamond, Bob was honored to throw the ceremonial first pitch prior to a Great Lakes Loons baseball game as “the longest tenured volunteer at the Midland Center for the Arts”.

In addition to his parents, Bob was predeceased by a brother, Richard Bamford Johns, sisters Florence J. Minnix and Edith L. Guizzetti and nephew Allen Guizzetti. He is survived by his wife Sue of Midland, and sister Marcia Naes of Naples, FL, nieces Melody (Bob) Kraft of Reston, VA, Cynthia (Michael) Rebibo of Oakton, VA, Carole Guizzetti (Michael Case) of Seattle, WA, grand-nephews Eric and Kyle Kraft, Jacques Rebibo, Kieran Case, and grand-nieces Alexa Rebibo and Allie Guizzetti.


A Celebration of Bob’s life will be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions in Bob’s name can be made to the Midland Area Community Foundation, the Central Michigan University School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts-BEST Equipment fund, or the Circle of Friends at Midland Center for the Arts. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Directors

The family are yet to make public the funeral arrangements.

This post will be updated with more information as they are made available and public.

Robert Allen Johns tributes

Family, friends and loved ones of the deceased have taken to their social media pages to share tributes, kind words and prayer.

Our best wishes and love to the deceased’s family and friends.

Steve Roth wrote;

Bob was a couple years older than me but we grew up in the same neighborhood and he gave me my first opportunity to ride a (his) motorcycle. There was a field next to his house and I rode it in a circle around in the field.

Please write your tributes and kind words in the comment section below.

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