DR. R. HOLMES JOHNSON
Born: Dec. 25, 1925, St. Helens, Oregon
Died: Jan. 31, 2020, Kodiak, Alaska
Retired physician, Kodiak’s 2nd MD following his father, Dr. A. Holmes, Kodiak’s 1st.
Dr. Bob was the only child of Dr. A. Holmes and Frostie Johnson. When courting his future wife, Marian, they planned on a big family, six or more children. After a string of active boys and the ’64 earthquake, they stopped at four.
WIFE OF 67 YEARS, MARIAN
“When I met this tall, thin piano man on a blind date I thought he was interesting. He was a UW medical student and liked jazz, my favorite. After a year of dating, sometimes with my three small siblings, we sailed to Kodiak on the Windbird, then got married. It has been a great adventure and Kodiak has been wonderful.”
She adds, “Cy Crawford set up that date. He’d been in Kodiak for WWII construction jobs and knew Bob, later working for my Dad in Seattle. Cy was on the original Community Baptist Church board. This history was unknown to me until the recent 75th anniversary of CBC.”
GARY SON NO. 4
“Dad taught me that men hug and kiss. Every time I came to Kodiak and every time I left, Dad would give me a big hug and kiss on the lips at the airport. I’ll never forget that. It was special. He also taught me healthy living, giving me a lifelong love of swimming and running.”
JAMES SON NO. 3
“Cold showers, a dip in the bay. Start the day with a ‘Whoop!” More on Dad, “Drive in fast. Get there late. Chore list is long, work ethic strong! Pitch in, lend a hand, do a good job, always with Dr. Bob. Family first, quality time, so important at dinner time. He loved his family, Kodiak and the arts. Putting in many an effort to improve life on Kodiak. Love you, Dad, JJ.”
DAVID SON NO. 2
“There was never a dull moment. Dad was unpredictable. He had a new amphicar he launched into Island Lake for first attempt. Young sons advised against this. Mom had the good sense to exit the car with baby Gary. Car sinks due to not sealing drain plugs, thankfully to a depth of only 2 feet.”
CRAIG SON NO. 1
“Dad was Kodiak. His love of this place knew no bounds. Music, the arts, education, health and well being, cultural diversity, Rotary; all focal points for him as he worked at making Kodiak a better place to live.
“Also, Dad was fun: sailing, sledding, billiards, volleyball, trapeze and swing-set in the living room. Last and best, he was an eternal optimist about everything, especially Kodiak. Some of this I inherited from him and try not to apologize for it.”
Kodiak High School graduate 1942, age 16, largest class ever, 11 students; Willamette University graduate; Merchant Marine Academy graduate, King’s Pt., WWII vet; UW medical school graduate; Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn residency, like his father; Family physician 40-plus years; Alaska Humanities Forum; Statewide alcohol treatment leadership; Pioneers of Alaska; Kodiak Historical Society; Lifelong Rotarian; Toastmasters; Author, “Alaska Frontier Surgeon” from his father’s journals; Kodiak Arts Council, “Cry of the Wild Ram” founder.
Memorial service at the Elk’s, March 15, 2 p.m., potluck.