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Roger Frank Johnson 1932-2002

19th of July 2002

It is with great sadness that we record the death of Roger Johnson of Callipers Hall Farm on 26 May, following complications after an operation. He will be known to many people and their animals as an outstanding veterinary surgeon whose bedside manner was second to none.

Born in Felixstowe, he nevertheless spent most of his life in the Watford area, and was educated at Watford Grammar School. He met his wife, Dinah, at Bristol University, where they were students together on the first veterinary course run by the University, and after Rogers National Service with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, spent mainly in Cyprus, they married in 1954. While a student, Roger had seen practice with Trewin Barr and Gale in Watford, and in due course was offered a partnership with the practice which eventually became Johnson & Daniels, now the Park Veterinary Centre. He did a tremendous amount of voluntary work for the community – he was a local magistrate for over 30 years, a past chairman of Watford Round Table, former president of Watford Rotary Club and the Herts and Beds division of the British Veterinary Association. He was a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Farriers, where he was deeply involved in examining apprentice farriers , and was Master of the Company in 1995/96. Although he retired officially from veterinary practice in 1994, he continued to be extremely active both as a dope tester for the International Equestrian Federation and as a vet for those clients for whom ‘only Mr. Johnson would do. He and Dinah had moved to Callipers Hall Farm in 1984 and he relished the opportunity to keep his own Suffolk sheep, chickens and British Longhorn cattle, in addition to the horses and ponies for his children and grandchildren. He thoroughly enjoyed his membership of the Chipperfield Choral Society. He lived life to the full, giving his time unstintingly to anyone who needed his help, and the many letters Dinah has received reveal the extent to which his friendship and unfailing kindness was appreciated. Above all, he was a devoted and utterly adored husband, father of four and grandfather of six. We will miss him more than words can say.
Charlotte Clifford and Vicky Fern

ROGER JOHNSON, A friend writes:
Roger had many sides to him. A short man of enormous character, he had a wonderful sense of humour. His speeches at the Farriers Livery Company, at magistrates dinners and elsewhere were hilarious. Asked on one such occasion by the chairman to be short, his response was that there was nothing wrong with that. He was an excellent, sensible magistrate, firm but compassionate and a sensitive colleague. His compassion stood out in his outstanding work as a vet. When the moment came for our familys old and sick labrador to be put down, he came personally to the house on a Sunday afternoon and performed the sad task with memorable gentleness both to the dog and to us.

In so many ways Roger enriched and brightened the lives of those who knew him and so he will be remembered.

 
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