The Kalamazoo County Veterans Events Committee and the Kalamazoo Sunrise Rotary Club is proud to announce the selection of WWII Navy Veteran Robert Johnson as our 2020 Veteran of the Year.
The presentation, by Kalamazoo Sunrise member and Marine Veteran Robert Hencken, was made on Veterans Day, November 11. It featured a socially distanced parade of cars, signage, balloons, and the love and congratulations of family and friends.
Mr Johnson joined the Navy in 1941. He worked his way up to the rank of Gunners Mate 1st class on ship PC 1198 and has always been very proud of his service to his country.
When he returned home from the Navy, he married and spent the next several decades working hard as a local plumber and raising 13 children. He and his lovely wife have just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. As his children became adults, Mr Johnson decided it was time to serve his community and started many years of volunteering.
Mr Johnson spent over 30 years volunteering including at the Red Cross, where he not only helped with blood drives but also has donated over 20 gallons of his own blood to help save the lives of others. He has been a bell ringer with the Salvation Army; helped at his church and brought a loving smile and listening ear to residents at a few local nursing homes. He also spent many, many years volunteering is Bronson Hospital where he is well known as "the magazine man". He recently celebrated his 99th birthday and up until March of this year, when the pandemic stopped all hospital volunteering, was still pushing his magazine rack up and down the halls of Bronson Hospital.
Congratulations to Robert Johnson!