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Sadly, longtime Burien icon Rob Johnson, 62, passed away on Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022 from complications related to a recent stroke.

Rob was a fixture at most Burien events, often seen walking his dogs, sitting on a bench, laughing and joking and just being an all-around unique, funny – yet very involved – person.

Chances are if you were in downtown Burien, you saw Rob, chatting with friends or passersby from his favorite bench in front of Burien Press. Or walking his dogs through Town Square Park. Maybe you saw him at the Burien Farmers Market, or, or the Burien UFO Festival or any of the other many great events in our city. He rarely missed the chance to attend.

He was a colorful man who gave Burien “character,” as he wasn’t afraid to show his whimsy with costumes or other silly things that made people laugh.

Born March 1, 1959, Rob was a:

    • 1978 graduate of Highline High School
    • Retired from Boeing in 2015
    • Former owner of Black Zia Cantina
    • Co-Founder of B-Town DOG
    • Co-Founder of Burien Pride
    • Former member of the Parks and Recreation Citizens Advisory Board
    • Burien’s own “Bad Santa”
    • …and a dear friend to many!

He is survived by his mother, Darlene Johnson.

Rob supported many causes quietly, usually behind the scenes. However, the impact he had on the community will be lasting.

Here are some photos showing Rob’s charismatic and often whimsical personality – click image to view gallery:

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A Facebook page in his honor has more info here:


Rob’s presence and sense of humor is missed already, and B-Town is less fun because he’s gone. But his spirit will live – and love – on.

A memorial is planned for Saturday, Mar. 5, 2022; details to be announced soon, so stay tuned…

We offer our deepest condolences to Rob’s family, friends and all those who knew and loved him.


Founder/Publisher/Editor. Three-time National Emmy Award winning Writer (“Bill Nye the Science Guy”), Director, Producer, Journalist and more...