Robert Charles Johns

The idea of encapsulating the life of a man as magnificent as Robert Charles Johns in something as trite and permanent as an obituary has been a true struggle.

Robert Charles Johns, also known as Bobby Johns and Bob Johns, was born one minute after midnight on February 27, 1955, in San Antonio, Texas, and left this realm at 1:15 p.m. on May 20, 2021, following a second hemorrhagic stroke deep within his brain.

His first stroke, caused by untreated hypertension, happened the morning of March 13, 2021, and resulted in emergency brain surgery and inpatient rehabilitation in El Paso for over a month, followed by true healing at home, under the loving care of his wife, for 33 days. His recovery was nothing short of a miracle, and the second stroke was a complete shock for everyone. The last coherent words Bob spoke to his wife were, “I’m going to heaven.” He was a man of his word.

Bob is survived by his wife, Krysta Lynn Johns of Fort Davis, Texas, and her daughter Lainey Tate McDaniel of Bethel, Maine; son Daniel Stephen Johns, his wife Kelly and their daughters Ashlynn, Avery and Ella of Cincinnati, Ohio; daughter Natalie Caya Johns of Copehnagen, Denmark; sister Linda Johns and her husband Jim Poage of New Braunfels; brother Stephen Johns and his wife Barbara of San Antonio; sister Laura Johns of San Antonio; and father Jack Thomas Johns of San Antonio.  Bob is preceded in death by his mother, Nancy Carmela Grimaldi Johns, and an infant daughter, Sascha.

Most people, including those sharing the same blood as him, did not know the truly remarkable man Bob was. As his mother told him as a child, “There isn’t a bad bone in your body, Bobby.” She was correct.

Bob had a heart of gold and did everything within his power to ensure that the people he loved were always taken care of and that they met and exceeded their potential. His greatest sacred obligation was ensuring his children were provided for, and he was ever-present in their lives to impart his love and wisdom at all times. His step-daughter, who he claimed as his own, also benefited greatly from the love and guidance of Bob Johns.

A gifted golfer at MacArthur High School in San Antonio, he graduated in the Class of 1973. He often credited much of the discipline he carried forth in his life with what he learned playing golf. When he was a young man, he set out on a journey around the United States, on foot, to prove to himself that he could survive.

With the last paycheck from a union crane operator job he’d quit in Corpus Christi, Texas, (after completing a job building the Champlin Refinery –– and bored to tears operating a construction roller after the challenge of operating an enormous crane), he drove his Volkswagen van to Florida where he had car trouble and decided it was time for his walkabout to begin.

He walked and hitchhiked for several years, working in different places to have money to move on whenever he wanted. He literally walked around the country –– he walked from Florida to Southern California, up to Portland, Oregon, over to Vermont, and eventually back to Florida to retrieve his van and continue his life of adventure. In the early 1980s, he traveled to El Salvador to pick coffee but instead picked cotton for two months. The colorful stories of his life will someday fill a novel.

His talent and natural skill in everything he attempted was beyond master level. He owned Early Texas Furniture, a fine furniture store on High Street in Comfort, Texas, for nearly 20 years. He designed, built and sold his own creations crafted in his workshop behind his historic home, unless they were antiques he brought back from his many trips deep into Mexico. He specialized in creating heirloom quality furniture with mortise and tenon joinery, dovetail joinery and the finest woods he could get his hands on. Every piece of his furniture is one of a kind and built for the generations to pass down, most with wood that was considered “hundred-year-old pine” 40 years ago.

He had a penchant for historic restorations, owning and restoring his historic home on High Street in Comfort; the Comfort Turn Verein; a historic cabin in Cloudcroft, New Mexico, and his latest project (with his wife carrying the other end of everything heavy), a 1920s service station, The Sleeping Lion property, in downtown Fort Davis, where he and his wife moved from Boerne, Texas.

Bob designed and built a wood-fired pizza oven on a trailer, and he and Krysta were the first mobile and wood-fired pizzas in Boerne, found at Boerne Market Days for two years starting in 2010. In 2020, they acquired a vintage coffee roaster, and rather than roasting coffee in a basket in the wood-fired oven as he’d done for years, he became a masterful artisan coffee roaster and they began their latest venture, Texas Coffee Roasters LLC. Bob was a sixth generation Texan, with ancestors who fought for Texas’ independence. Married to a seventh generation Texan, Bob and Krysta cherished their rich heritage and valued their family history.

Robert C. Johns was brilliant and truly a master among men, only doing things “the way they used to do it.” He had an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and he knew so much about absolutely every topic, but if he didn’t, he researched until he did. He was the epitome of a renaissance man. Bob leaves an absence unlike anything ever felt, as well as truly indelible marks, on the lives he touched. His departure from this world was far, far too soon.

A private burial was held at Hillcrest Cemetery in Fort Davis on May 26, 2021, under the direction of Alpine Memorial Funeral Home. Lowering the casket were Mark Cash, James Dutchover, Caleb Jagger, Francisco Lopez, Jerry Miles, Doug Moreland and Jim Porter.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 10, 2021, at Fort Davis United Methodist Church, located at 200 N. Front Street in Fort Davis.

The family cannot even begin to express the gratitude felt for all of the love, support, prayers and friendship that have been showered on us since the beginning of this journey. For all that we’ve lost, we have so very much to be grateful for.

In lieu of flowers, Krysta Johns requests that you get your blood pressure checked and keep it regulated. Stroke is a leading cause of death in the United States each year and takes advantage of untreated hypertension to sneak up and steal loved ones from you all too soon.


Related