Robert K “Bob” Johnson, former chief of the Auburn Fire Department and sometime Santa for legions of kids, died on Dec. 28 in hospice care in northern Idaho. He was 81.
According to a message posted by his family on social media, Johnson had suffered from Parkinson’s disease and ankylosing spondylitis. According to the Valley Regional Fire Authority (VRFA), Johnson was the Auburn Fire Department Chief from 1984 to 2002, having begun his fire service career in Tillamook, Ore.
“He led the AFD during a significant growth period and was very active in the Auburn community during his career and well into retirement. His wife Jessie shared that she appreciates everyone’s thoughts and prayers and is grateful that he was surrounded by family in his last few days. They had 28 great years together with today being their 23rd wedding anniversary,” the VRFA wrote.