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OBITUARY: Robert Johnson

August 17, 2023
By Boca Beacon

This generational pilot boat captain has crossed the bar

Capt. Robert W. Johnson passed away on Saturday, August 12, 2023 at his family home, the historic Quarantine House.

Robert was born on November 27, 1938 to Carey and Carrie Johnson on the south end of Boca Grande.

Robert graduated from Boca Grande High School in 1956 and married his high school sweetheart, Roberta Presley in 1959. They had two children, Sabrina and Darian.

Robert’s father and his grandfather were harbor pilots in the area dating back to 1888. Robert followed in their footsteps, becoming a harbor pilot at Port Boca Grande in 1964. When Port Boca Grande closed, Robert continued as a harbor pilot on Key West until his retirement in 1998.

He was passionate about preserving the history of Boca Grande and served as president and director of the Boca Grande Historical Society for many years. He was instrumental in the development of the History Byte program held at the library each year and served as the society’s historian. He was also a docent at the Boca Grande Lighthouse Museum every Saturday and delighted in sharing stories of the shipping port and the island’s history.

Robert is survived by his children, Sabrina and her husband Steve; Darian and his wife Liz; grandchildren Matthew, Ashley, Rachael and Travis; and his great-grandchildren: Amelia, Everett, Jaxton, Charlotte and Isla.

Funeral services will be held at the Boca Grande Community Center auditorium on August 22, 2023, at 10:30 a.m.

Donations can be made to the Boca Grande Historical Society.