Bob and Trula began using the consultation and fiduciary services of the Foundation in 2000, upon the recommendation of Dr. Bill Whittaker, the President of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Their interest in assisting financially deserving ministerial students began with the death of Bob’s mother. In addition to requesting memorial gifts in lieu of flowers at her death, they established a perpetual scholarship endowment for Clear Creek students in memory of Bob’s parents. This endowment is the remainder beneficiary of several charitable trusts the Johnsons have established with the Foundation.
Trula was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and educated at the University of Tennessee and Transylvania University. She trained as a medical technologist in Louisville and as a cytology screener at the Cleveland Clinic. She worked first at Knoxville’s St. Mary’s Hospital, then at the miner’s hospital in Harlan. In the late 1950s, she transferred to the Lexington Clinic.
Bob was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, and raised in Fayette County. Following his service in the U.S. Navy, he attended the University of Kentucky. After graduation, Bob worked four years for Shely Construction as a field superintendent and then 14 years as an electrical engineer for Kentucky Utilities.
Trula met Bob during a rainstorm when her landlady called Bob, who was a friend, to restore their electricity. Bob says jokingly, “I didn’t know what I was getting into that night.” Six years later they married, and what an interesting life they have enjoyed together as global citizens.
Bob became a resident project engineer for an engineering consulting firm that brought them to Pakistan, South Vietnam, New York City and Saudi Arabia over the next decade. They retired to Knoxville, and Bob earned an MBA from UT.
Feeling too young to retire, Bob became a project engineer for the U.S. Agency for International Development, and they spent the next several years living in Indonesia and Egypt.
In 1988, they fully retired to Knoxville
to be near Trula’s aging father and Bob’s ailing mother, who lived in Lexington
In 1993 they moved to Lexington
During a recent visit with Laurie Valentine and Barry Allen, Trula and Bob acknowledged that the Lord had been so good to them, their parents had been such giving people, and they had discovered this truth: “You can’t outgive the Lord.”
Over the past eight years Trula and Bob have established a number of charitable remainder annuity trusts (CRATS) and one charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT). They have funded these trusts with gifts of rental property, appreciated stocks and cash. They also have charitable bequest provisions in their estate planning documents.
Between the charitable gifts they will have made during life and those that will be made at death, the Johnsons’ Christian legacy will be perpetuated through the missions and ministries of ten different religious, educational and benevolent ministries from Kentucky to Tennessee and to the ends of the earth. At the same time, the Johnsons have made provisions for their family. We commend them for their prayerful, careful and thorough planning the results of which will be generosity toward God and toward their family.
May others emulate Trula and Bob’s Kingdom-minded stewardship and their use of the consultation and fiduciary services of the Kentucky Baptist Foundation.