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R. Reed Johnson
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R. Reed
1921 - 2014
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Obituary for R. Reed Johnson

R. Reed  Johnson
Robert Reed Johnson, M.D. of Littleton Colorado passed away peacefully on December 19, 2014. Reed was born in Denver to Julius and Grace Reed Johnson on Christmas Day 1921. He is preceded in death by his parents and older brother Julius.

Reed was a life-long resident of Littleton and grew up on the family farm a few miles to the south of town along the Highline Canal. Reed’s grandfather, Herbert Johnson, had bought the farm around the turn of the century, and Reed’s mother named it Shadycroft Farm. Reed’s early life as a farm boy included not only farm chores, but hours of time spent with his horse and beloved dog, Rab, roaming far and wide among the fields. Reed’s love of nature and animals grew out of these years. He attended school in both Littleton and Denver, and then went on to the University of Colorado in Boulder, and CU Medical School. It was during this time that he met the woman he would be married to for 70 years, Dorothea Moreland Johnson, whom everyone called “Tee”. They were married in Waco, Texas on September 23, 1944 during the war.

Reed graduated from medical school with highest honors, and then served as a medical officer in the Navy. There was an urgent need for doctors to head to the Pacific theater, so after a short time at the naval hospital at Balboa Park in San Diego, Reed was shipped out to Shanghai, ready to head towards Japan. The war suddenly ended just before his hospital ship was to head east to treat casualties from the planned invasion. Reed and Tee were then stationed in Honolulu for two years of active duty. The family joked that that must have been a pretty tough assignment! Finally, Tee and Reed, and by then their son Randy, came home to Shadycroft Farm.

Reed began his practice in Denver as a pediatrician, and cared for and loved children and their families for 40 years. Reed, Tee and their children, Randy, Pamela and Brad lived in Denver, but in 1956 moved back to the remaining 15 acres of what had been Shadycroft Farm, built a home, and lived there for 60 years.

Reed loved skiing, fishing, hunting, and was a member of Greenwood Community Church for many, many years. His accomplishments are so numerous, and never one to boast, we will just say that he was an excellent and greatly respected physician whose compassion and care will be long remembered. He was a story teller and wrote and published a historical novel, A Thread of Gold while in his 70’s. He was a superb gardener, and created seven acres of beauty that even won the National Victory Gardens award in 1992. Each year Reed and Tee continued the 100-year long family tradition of hosting an old-fashioned Fourth of July party for friends and family. He greatly loved the mountains and recreated that beauty to surround Tee, himself and their children. He often said while on his knees weeding and planting, “This is the best place to talk to God.”

Reed’s life was one of generosity, kindness, faithfulness, love of God, beauty and nature, warmth and gentle humor. He loved his wife. He loved his family. We will always miss him here in this life, but look forward to a grand reunion in Heaven!

Reed is survived by his wife of 70 years, Dorothea Johnson of Littleton, CO, and their three children: Randy Johnson (Carol) of Littleton, Pamela Johnson Hay (Les) of Littleton and Brad Johnson (Patti) of Broomfield; their five grandchildren: Elisabeth Hay Stoll (Greg) of Thornton, Peter Johnson (Kristina) of Broomfield, Justin Hay (Lara) of Littleton, Andrew Hay (Kendall) of Amarillo, TX and Reed Johnson (Heather) of Fort Collins; and their lively twelve great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Children’s Hospital of Colorado ( or Denver Rescue Mission, 3501 East 46th Avenue, Denver, CO 80216.

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