Robert Franklin Johns

July 9, 2019

Robert Franklin Johns, known respectfully and lovingly as “Chief CedarBear” of the Perdido Bay Tribe of Southeastern Lower Muscogee Creek Indians, passed away on Tuesday, June 25, following medical complications that arose during his treatment for injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on June 2.

Interment, following escort by the Patriot Guard Riders to Barrancas National Cemetery, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Friday, August 30, 2019.  Then, on Saturday, August 31, 2019, the Perdido Bay Tribe in conjunction with the Native Paths Cultural Heritage Museum, will host a Memorial Celebration of Life Event.  More details regarding the exact location and time of this event can be found at www.facebook.com/perdidobaytribe in the days to come.

Robert was born May 10, 1960, in Macon, Georgia, attended high school in Warner Robins, Georgia, and entered the Navy in a delayed entry program so that shortly after leaving high school, he began a one tour enlistment with the United States Navy.  Following training, he served on the U.S.S. Constellation Aircraft Carrier (known as “Connie” to its crew), which was based in San Diego, California.  His final mission aboard Connie began in February, 1980, as the ship moved westward following in November, 1979, takeover of the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran.  Connie arrived at Gonzo Station on May 1, 1980, to relieve the Coral Sea, with Connie and her crew’s “at sea period” for this mission lasting a record setting period of time that resulted in the Connie crew members being awarded the Navy Expeditionary Medal for their service.

Following his Navy service, Robert worked in a fairly wide variety of businesses, most of which were retail operations of one sort or the other, working everything from sales to inventorying to management training, but he finally went to work with Excel Logistics where he stayed for about 17 years.  During his time with Excel, he worked in a variety of positions at several different locations in the western metro-Atlanta area and also spent a year in New Mexico as a member of the team sent to help open a new facility for the company in Albuquerque.  During his time in New Mexico, being surrounded by Native American culture, Robert became more interested in his Native American Heritage, an interest that grew to become an integral part of the remainder of his life.  Robert left Excel Logistics in 2008 and moved to Florida to work with his father and the Perdido Bay Tribe at Native Paths Cultural Heritage Museum, where he continued until the time of his motorcycle accident and subsequent death.

He was preceded in death by his father, who was founder and predecessor Chief of the Perdido Bay Tribe, Bobby Thomas “Chief Bearheart” Johns, and his step-father, Claude “Fred” Fraser.

He is survived by his mother, Matilda “Ann” Berry Fraser, and his step-mother, Marian Johns-Holcombe (Mike); his wife, Lynn Bundrick Johns and his children, Krystal Lace Johns Eisemann (Patrick), Kara Lauren Johns Nunnally (Jamie) and Jesse Robert Johns; his grandchildren, Lorelei Michelle Eisenmann, Cordelia Lace Eisenmann, Rhett Lee Nunnally and Jacie Lynn Nunnally; his brother, Christopher Berry Johns (Linda); his sisters, Cynthia Johns O’Herron (Billy) and Karen Johns Turner (Ben); his sister’s children, Kimberly Paulsen Phelps (Michael), Julia Bonnie Ann Turner and Logan John Turner; a great nephew, Anthony Michael Phelps, and many other extended family members; his life-long friend, Harold McMullen, the friend who was by his side through his final illness, John Hailer, and his pastor, Henry Lewis of Community Baptist Church in Pensacola.

Our deepest appreciation goes out to the entire staff and medical team of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SINU) at Baptist Hospital in Pensacola for providing such amazing, respectful and loving care to this man who spent 22 ½ days with them.  There was never a doubt that this group of amazing people were pulling for the “Chief” (as so many of them chose to call him).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Chief Cedarbear’s honor   to the Perdido Bay Tribe via the GoFundMe page referenced on their facebook at www.facebook.com/perdidobaytribe or by mail to PBT, 3300 Beloved Path, Pensacola, FL 32507.

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