Robert “Robin” W. Johnson, beloved father, grandfather, brother, and friend passed away on Sunday, April 28th 2019, surrounded by loved ones after a year-long, brave battle with cancer.
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Robin was born on October 1st, 1942, in Sheridan, Wyoming to Torrey Benton and Adrienne Mayre Johnson (Henderson). Robin had an older sister, Sandra, and three younger siblings, Jolly, Phillip, and Tempe. Robin was a truly unique soul and a man of pride, purpose, and strength. He was the original cowboy gentleman. Robin grew up on a ranch in Southeast Montana, The Spear O Ranch, learning the ranching lifestyle and carrying on the family traditions of flying, singing and guitar playing, cowboy’n, and military service.
Robin’s love of flying started at a young age on the Spear O and over the next 60+ years he spent countless hours flying planes for pleasure, to check cattle, crop dusting, transporting PRCA circuit cowboys to rodeos, and buying and selling small aircraft throughout North America.
He graduated from Sheridan High School in 1960. Following high school he headed West and attended the University of Montana in Missoula where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and a proud member of the rodeo team. He graduated in 1964 with a degree in History and Political Science. He applied to the US Marine Corp officer candidate school and was accepted the summer of 1966. He completed OCS at Quantico Marine Corps Base. His dream was to become a jet pilot, but his eye sight kept him from obtaining his wings.
He met his wife Kate while visiting her family in Big Timber in the winter of 1970. They were introduced by her brother Bob, and as the legend goes, she turned down Robin's first attempt at chivalry which involved his airplane, a gun, and coyotes! Never the less, they fell deeply in love and began their 40 years of marriage in the fall of 1971.
Rob and Kate spent the first 10 years of married life running the Lazy E-4 Cattle Company on Horse Prairie, near Dillon, Mont. They welcomed their first child, Brody Cremer, in the summer of 1972. In the next four-and-a-half years, they added four more to the clan: Adrienne (Addy) Lorraine, Therese Francis, Merritt Anne and Benton Victor.
In 1981, Robin and Kate moved their family to Billings where they spent the next 20 years chasing kids from one activity to another. Some of his fondest memories included flying, supporting his kids and grandkids in their music and sports, spending time in the Bighorn Mountains at the Moody's cabin, skiing in Big Sky, and time spent with family on the Spear O Ranch. He was an adventurous soul, he didn’t want to be given guardrails, he wanted to define his own. He had a definite opinion about most matters and believed in standing up for what is right and speaking your mind. He had a passion for politics and loved to engage in debate. His friends have said “he knew no stranger, he was genuine and loyal, and was always the life of the party. Go GRIZ!”
Dad would like to best be known for his five children and nine grandchildren and the positive contributions they will make to their communities and society as a whole: Brody (Jamie), Addy, Therese, Merritt (Blaine), and Benton (Abbie); Cooper, Mary Kathryn, Jessamyn, Jordyn, McKenna, twins Colten and Elsa, Vaughn, and Maeta.