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Robert Johnson, 74, Retired Teacher From Fairfield

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Robert Albin Johnson of Fairfield died May 2 at Bridgeport Hospital surrounded by his immediate family. He was 74.

Johnson had worked as a French teacher for 33 years for Staples High School in Westport before retiring.

He was born May 4, 1937 in Attleboro, Mass., the eldest son of J. Albin and Myrtle J. Ireland Johnson. He graduated from Dartmouth College and earned a master's degree in French and education from Brown University, where he met his wife Arlene. Johnson later received a certificate of advanced studies in administration and curriculum from Fairfield University.

At Dartmouth, Bob earned a regular commission in the Navy and served on a destroyer during the Berlin Crisis and the earliest days of the Vietnam War. After his service, Johnson accepted a reserve commission and for many years trained with the Naval Control of Shipping Organization, rising to the rank of commander and commanding officer of NCSO 5202 in Stamford and New Rochelle, N.Y. He retired from the Navy in 1982.

At Staples High School, Johnson designed and directed the school's second language laboratory in the 1970s. He retired from the position after 33 years in 1996. He and his wife traveled overseas often, particularly to France. In 2009, he fulfilled a lifelong ambition to see New Zealand.

Johnson was active in Dartmouth alumni affairs and held every office, including the presidency, of the Dartmouth Club of Bridgeport, now the Dartmouth Club of Eastern Fairfield County. He served on the class of 1959 executive committee, edited the class newsletter and most recently was co-chair of the 1959 to 2009 Connection, a group dedicated to enriching the college experience of the 2009 Dartmouth graduating class.

He was also a former member of the Dartmouth Alumni Council. In addition to his alumni activities, Johnson was a past president of the Contemporary Club of Bridgeport executive board. He was also a past trustee of the Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield.

In his retirement, Johnson enjoyed his membership to the Y's Men of Westport and Weston, where he participated in its camera club. He was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Dartmouth athletics.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church. Burial is planned for a later date at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. Spear-Miller Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Children's Home of Cromwell, 60 Hicksville Road, Cromwell, CT 06416, or to Scholarships at Dartmouth College, c/o Gift Planning Office, 6066 Development Office, Hanover, NH 03755.

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