Robert A. Johannesen
December 19, 1939 – August 31, 2023
Robert Allen Johannesen, age 83 of West Grove passed away peacefully on August 31, 2023. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Robert attended Ft. Hamilton High School. Son of the late Torje and Thora Johannesen. He was married to wife Kathleen Freedell Johannesen in 1962 and raised four children. They were happily married for 54 years.
Loving father to daughter Susan Costenbader (Jay), his son Paul Johannesen (Liz), his daughter Karen Hovis (Bill), and his son Thomas Johannesen (Andrea.) Robert is also survived by sixteen grandchildren, Matthew and his wife Emily, Andrew, Samuel, Allison, William and his wife Esther, Elizabeth, George, Ben, Samantha, Hank, Gus, Naomi, Cecilie, and Linnea. Robert was also blessed with three great grandchildren Marshall, Dylan, and Arthur. Preceded in death by brother Per Opsahl Johannesen.
Robert was loved by family and friends. Throughout his life, he held many jobs, beginning as a shoeshine boy and then a messenger in New York City. After completing Ft. Hamilton High School, he attended the New York Community College Culinary School where he pursued his true calling as a chef. He completed an apprenticeship at the esteemed Waldorf Astoria. Robert then moved his young family to Newtown Square, PA to become chef at the Newtown Squire. From there he became the executive chef at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, PA until his first retirement in 2000. He helped establish the kitchen at the Applebrook Golf Club in Malvern, PA until his second retirement, when he attained his most important position as the camp cook in Avalon, NJ. Every one of his grandchildren could tell you the stories of Grandpop serving up Norwegian pancakes that were stacked six inches high on a plate and devoured quickly on the back deck of his beach house.
Robert and Kathleen left their home in Broomall and moved to West Grove, PA. He continued to bless many in the community at The Villages at Penn Ridge and West Grove Presbyterian Church by serving men’s breakfast, ladies teas, church dinners, various events in his community, and blessing his neighbors with soup deliveries. In short, Robert used his gifts to bless and feed so many people they cannot be counted.
Robert also had friends at the local YMCA where he would meet at 5:00am to “exercise” but mostly sit and talk over a cup of coffee. Another one of his favorite activities was sitting around the table at his Penn Ridge clubhouse with his card playing buddies where he would say he “let them win” so they would continue to have him back. He was always quick with a joke whether you wanted to hear it or not, even to his many nurses who cared for him during his health challenges.
Robert was very proud of his Norwegian heritage. He could recount in detail the people he knew and places he went during the year he lived in Norway. He was also a proud New York Giants fan unfortunately surrounded by many Eagles fans.
Visitation with the family will be from 9:00AM until 11:00AM with a memorial service at 11:00AM on Saturday, September 9, 2023 at West Grove Presbyterian Church, 139 West Evergreen Street, West Grove. A luncheon reception will follow the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Robert's name may be made to the charity of your choice.