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Home / In Memoriam / Robert Kyle Johnson
Robert Kyle Johnson

Robert Kyle Johnson

In Remembrance
October 15, 1938 - June 14, 2022

Obituary

Robert Kyle Johnson died on June 14, 2020 in Manhattan from complications due to the Coronavirus. 

Robert (Bob to friends, Bobby to family) was born October 15, 1938 in West Caldwell, New Jersey to Ruth (Kyle) and Carl Johnson of Brooklyn, NY. Bob grew up in Norwalk, Connecticut, where he developed his love of sports and the outdoors. He was a passionate fisherman and hockey player and a big fan of the New York Rangers and the Brooklyn Dodgers. 

After graduating from Norwalk High School, Bob attended St. Lawrence University before graduating from Lafayette College in 1960 with an AB in History. After college, Bob joined the Navy and served on the USS Forest Royal, a destroyer based in Guantanamo Bay, which served in the Cuban Missile Crisis blockade. He left the Navy in 1964 a Lieutenant j.g. and enrolled in Columbia University where he received his MBA in Finance in 1965. Bob spent the next 10 years in the securities industries first at Carl M. Loeb, Rhoades & Co. in equity research, and then at William D. Witter Inc. in equity sales and trading. 

In 1976, Bob joined the swashbuckling bunch of upstarts at Donaldson, Luftkin and Jenrette. He quickly fell into step with the DLJ mantra of relying on high quality independent corporate research and thrived. He headed up the Oil and Gas Group at DLJ until 1988 when he took over the management of the Media and Telecommunications Group (which is ironic as he never owned a TV). Bob retired as a Managing Director at Credit Suisse First Boston in 2004, having joined in 2000 when CSFB acquired Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. Realizing he wasn't ready to stop working, the following year Bob joined the independent investment bank Sagent Advisors as a Managing Director where he remained until his (second and final) retirement. 

Throughout his career in finance, Bob sustained his love of the great outdoors. Accompanied by his beloved hunting dog, Seamus, Bob blissfully flyfished, sailed and ambled across the planet. He was also keen on reading and chose Proust and Trollope as his constant companions. Adding to his eclectic interests Bob was also an avid collector of antiques. 

When Bob found something he liked he dug in deep to that interest - that extended to a love of horses and music. If you were lucky enough to sample his cooking (he perfected red beans and rice, oatmeal, and spaghetti with a puttanesca sauce) opera was always on in the background. 

Bob had a keen sense of humor and there wasn't a joke too dirty to tell or be retold by him. Everyone got a nickname - his mother became Jack, his sister Zard, his brother-in-law Ricky (not his name) and his niece Kiges. In turn he referred to himself as Rube. His niece and nephew always referred to him as "the funny uncle" and will continue to remember the hilarious stories he told and pranks he pulled.

Throughout his life and until her death, Bobby was the most devoted son to his mother. Every single Friday he would finish work in the city, drive to Connecticut to have dinner with her, and then head to his place upstate. 

Bob enjoyed both the water and land and while based in New York City he spent weekends and holidays in Millbrook, NY and Westport, MA. After retirement he left his longtime home in NYC and split his time between Aiken, SC and Brooklin, ME. In Maine he could be found on his sailboat and in upstate NY and South Carolina he was often spotted walking in the woods with Seamus. He was a longtime donor to the arts and various environmental causes. 

Bobby was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Elizabeth (Johnson) Lewis. He will be remembered lovingly by his nephew Nicky Lewis, niece Kyle Paige, their families, and countless friends and colleagues around the world. 

In lieu of flowers or donations, please do something kind for a stranger. 

 What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. It's full tonight.
So we go
and the moon rises, so beautiful it
makes me shudder, makes me think about
time and space, makes me take
measure of myself: one iota
pondering heaven. Thus we sit, myself
thinking how grateful I am for the moon's
perfect beauty and also, oh! how rich
it is to love the world. Percy, meanwhile,
leans against me and gazes up
into my face. As though I were just as wonderful
as the perfect moon.
“The Sweetness of Dogs" by Mary Oliver from Dog Songs  

Some Time at Eve by Elizabeth Clark Hardy 
Some time at eve when the tide is low,
- shall slip my mooring and sail away,
With no response to the friendly hail
-Of kindred craft in the busy bay.
In the silent hush of the twilight pale,
-When the night stoops down to embrace the day,
And the voices call in the waters' flow
Some time at eve when the tide is low,
-I shall slip my mooring and sail away.
Through the purpling shadows that darkly trail
-O'er the ebbing tide of the Unknown Sea,
I shall fare me away, with a dip of sail
And a ripple of waters to tell the tale
-Of a lonely voyager, sailing away
-To the Mystic Isles where at anchor lay
The crafts of those who have sailed before
O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.
A few who have watched me sail away
Will miss my craft from the busy bay;
-Some friendly barks that were anchored near,
-Some loving souls that my heart held dear,
-In silent sorrow will drop a tear
But I shall have peacefully furled my sail
In moorings sheltered from storm or gale,
-And greeted the friends who have sailed before
-O'er the Unknown Sea to the Unseen Shore.  

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. 

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