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Robert A. Johnson
July 31, 1938 ~ December 13, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Robert (Christian) Anton Johnson , age 85, died peacefully in his sleep at the Westhampton Care Center on December 13, 2023. He was born in Southampton Hospital and grew up on Woodland Avenue in Westhampton Beach with his parents Ilse and Anton Johnson. His love of fishing started early at many my local spots. His late sister Greta Hedberg and her recently deceased husband Charles “Chic” Hedberg continued to live in Westhampton Beach for their entire lives.
After attending Oswego College, he moved to New York City to start an acting and musical theater career. In 1961 he met Barbara Kelly in East Hampton at a croquet match and married soon after and had two children Eric C Johnson and Kelly Johnson Kunzeman, in addition to Christopher and Charles Schenck, Barbara’s children from a previous marriage. The family lived in East Hampton. In 1963 Christian became one of the first Dee Jays and Program Director of the fledgling WLNG in Sag Harbor. His Daughter Kelly remembers that he announced her birth on the air in 1965. He starred in many of the local community theater companies’ productions at Guild Hall and other places, as well as being a fixture of the East End’s live music scene with his guitar, being featured at the Sea Spray Inn, The Montauk Yacht Club and Indian Cove in Hampton Bays. In the 1970’s he also spent many happy times in the winter ski resort areas entertaining the apres ski crowd.
After his first marriage ended he moved to Philadelphia PA and continued his entertaining and music career working at EASY 101 in Philly as radio personality. His love of history and knowledge of historical figures, mixed with his innate storytelling and humor, led him to start impersonating famous men from the past including his best-known role of Abraham Lincoln. He performed at events and colleges, motivational conferences and school assemblies. Some of the more notable venues included the White House, a Gettysburg Anniversary, UNESCO meeting in Paris and the Sag Harbor Elementary School’s morning program with his grandchildren and their classmates cheering away.
In 1996 he met and married Sherry Maurer in Pennsylvania. They lived happily in Cherry Hill NJ until the time of her death in 2021. Sherry’s daughter Susan remembers “they filled in each other’s gaps; he was a dreamer of big ideas and she would gently bring him back down to earth.”
Christian leaves behind his two children Kelly (Butch Kunzeman), Eric (Bridget LeRoy), step-children Christopher (Susan), Susan Maurer Tracey (Chris Tracey) and Jim Maurer (Theresa) and his Niece and Nephew, Victoria Hedberg and Viking Hedberg and wife Kate. His grandchildren, Lily, Claire & Jessup Kunzeman and Joel and Bingham Johnson and step-granddaughter, Georgia Warner will all miss him terribly.
A Memorial Service will take pace on January 6, 2024 at 3:00 PM at the Beach United Methodist Church located at 41 Mill Road in Westhampton Beach. A reception will follow the service at the same location.