Robert William Johnston

August 27, 1941 – November 12, 2017

Robert Johnston passed away on November 12, 2017, after a long illness with his family gathered around him: his wife, Janine Johnston of Manhattan Beach; his son, Albert Johnston; his sister, Dorothy Slawson; and his brother-in-law, Richard Slawson.

Bob was born in St. Louis, Missouri and his family moved to the Los Angeles area in 1952. Initially the family lived in Manhattan Beach, before settling in Hawthorne, California.  Bob attended Hawthorne High School.  The summer after high school graduation, Bob joined the United States Marine Corps with a couple of his friends from school.  He served both at Camp Pendleton and 29 Palms.  Bob was forever proud of his Marine Corps service.

After his honorable discharge from USMC, Robert joined the U.A. Steamfitters’ Union and worked on many important and difficult projects. His specialty was industrial work in building power plants that served Southern California.  He worked at oil refineries, chemical plants, food processing plants and many other commercial buildings installing heating and cooling piping systems.  He supervised many of the projects that he was involved with, proving his leadership.

In 1997, Robert was elected as a business representative for the Steamfitters’ Union and served until 2003 assisting Journeymen and Apprentice Union members with issues that would arise with the contract and contractors’ hiring goals. He was appreciated for the detail and commitment he maintained in representing the membership and the Union.

Throughout the years he was an avid golfer. He loved it and hated it simultaneously!

He retired in 2003, but continued to be involved by passing on his knowledge that he’d gained over the years by teaching his trade to new apprentices coming into the Union & Contractors State approved Apprenticeship Program.   One of his proudest achievements was being awarded the Program Teaching Credential.

Bob’s family misses him now and always. There will be private family services.  In lieu of cards or flowers, please make a donation to the U.A. Local 250 Scholarship Fund.


  1. Bob and I had been friends for 40 years. We first met as young apprenticeship instructors. We worked together on a few projects and were supportive of one another in our union political endeavors. My wife and I introduced Bob to his wife Janine and we remained close well beyond our retirements. I am going to deeply miss my old friend and golf companion. I truly loved my humble great witted old buddy. RIP dear friend.

  2. Good bye Bob. I’ve miss you for couple of years. I will remember you as a friend and a guy I love to laugh with ! Semper Fi……FOUR !!!!!!!!

  3. Bob was a great guy and taught me a lot going thru the trade as an apprentice. He ran a good job and always enjoyed seeing him at Bill Conley’s Super bowl parties!
    Gonna miss ya bob! Say Hi to Conley for me!

  4. In memory of my friend Nancy’s father, Robert Johnston, a donation to the Scholarship Fund. Deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

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