Transportation 15

Robert E. Johnston

June 25, 1939 ~ March 6, 2020 (age 80)


Robert Edwin (Bob) Johnston of Harlingen went home to be with our Lord and Savior on Friday, March 6, 2020, following 15 months of Pancreatic Cancer.  Bob was born June 25, 1939 in Big Spring, Texas to Vernon C. & Doris Johnston.

He grew up in Harlingen and graduated from HHS in 1957.  After high school, Bob attended Baylor University and graduated in 1962. Three days before graduation, he met Barbara, a freshman.  They were married the next spring.

After college Bob was an officer in the USAF, earning the rank of Captain.  His assignments were in the Azores Islands, Portugal and Air Force 1 Wing-Andrews/Washington DC.  Their son, Glenn Austin, was born during their tour in the Azores.

Following service, Bob was a Zone Manager for Ford Motor Company, Dallas branch to 26 West Texas Dealerships and advertising executive in the Dallas area.  In 1973, Bob was Director of Public Relations & Development for San Marcos Baptist Academy.  In 1975, the family moved back to Harlingen.  Bob was TSTI/TSTC Director of Public Relations and known as "Voice of TSTI".  He retired in 1997. Then he became director of Public information at Valley Baptist Mission/Education Center and owned/operated a mortgage company in Harlingen.

Bob's love of Cars lead to starting AutoEtcNeon in 1987 to 2017.  Bob was a GM Licensee for 30+ years and FMC Licensee for 10 years.  He was always known for wearing his Gamble style hat and referred to as the "Neon Man".

He was a Founding Member of the National Corvette Museum/Bowling Green, KY, and member of the National Corvette Restorers Society, Mustang Club of America and Antique Automobile Club of America.

He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church, Harlingen, 40+ years Member of North Harlingen Rotary Club & Club President, and served over 25 years on the Harlingen Library Board. 

 A lifetime Love & Support for Baylor University, Bob was a BU Ambassador, Old Main Society, 1845 Society, Bear Foundation, and established three Endowed Scholarships.

He is survived by his loving wife, Barbara, of 57 years, sister, Nancy Long (David) of Hawkins, Texas, brother Tip Johnston (Ann) of Harlingen, nephew, Brent Johnston (Dallas) of Rockwell, Texas, three nieces, Rhonda Carlin (Steve) of Round Rock, Texas, Carrie Allen (Shane) of McGregor, Texas, Melissa South (Brian) of Winnsboro, Texas, four great-nephews and three great-nieces.  He is preceded in death by his son, Glenn Austin Johnston and parents, Vernon and Doris Johnston.

Bob was a loving and supportive husband, father and family member.  He loved to talk to anyone and made people feel comfortable.

Visitation will be held at Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home in Harlingen on Tuesday, March 10, from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.

Graveside services will be held at Mont Meta Memorial Park in San Benito on Wednesday, March 11 at 11:00 AM followed by a Memorial and Celebration of Life service at Calvary Baptist Church in Harlingen at 2:00 PM.  Honorary Pallbearers will be members of the North Harlingen Rotary Club.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested memorials be sent to Baylor University, Attn: Gift Processing, One Bear Place #97050, Waco, Texas 76798-7050, to benefit the Glenn Austin Johnston Film & Digital Media Endowed Scholarship Fund or the Robert E. and G. Austin Johnston Hankamer Business School Endowed Scholarship Fund or the Barbara Jo and Robert E. Johnston Endowed Scholarship Fund in School of Education.

To plant a tree in memory of Robert E. Johnston, please visit our tribute store.


March 10, 2020

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Buck Ashcraft Funeral Home
710 Ed Carey Dr.
Haringen, TX 78550

March 11, 2020

11:00 AM
Mont Meta Memorial Park
26170 N. Hwy 345
San Benito, TX

Celebration of Life
March 11, 2020

2:00 PM
Calvary Baptist Church
1815 N. 7t St.
Harlingen, TX 78550

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