August 12, 2020
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Ned Barton Johnson

Old Lyme

Published July 30, 2020

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Ned Barton Johnson died peacefully with family by his side on June 27 after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Pagosa Springs, Colorado on April 1, 1944, to his parents Sally and Leonard Johnson.

Ned grew up in Colorado, attended Loveland High School, and went on to graduate from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a degree in economics. It is appropriate that Ned’s birthday fell on April Fools Day because his personality embodied a warm and playful sense of humor with an unexpected and often dry wit. He was indeed very funny, and he loved to laugh and making others laugh. He was fun, a person whose company was enjoyed by all who met him—family, friends, and many times, perfect strangers. He was generous and kind, a very good listener who genuinely cared and always took time to find out what was going on in your life.

He enjoyed playing golf with his wife and friends, especially during his business trips. His love of travel and adventure led him and his family to many far-away places such as the Amazon, Borneo, Cambodia, and many places in Central and South America. Ned loved fine art work and unusual antiques that he collected from his travels all over the world. He enjoyed a good book, a cold beer, and time to write his many lists usually detailing his next business venture or family trip. And truly there was nothing he enjoyed more than watching a football game, at home or at a local bar, especially when his favorite team, the Denver Broncos, were playing.

Ned could accomplish anything he put his mind to. He was a born leader and risk-taker. His creative entrepreneurial spirit led him to be involved in many varied businesses from The Spoke bicycle shops to Wall Street Golf in Denver in the mid 1970s, to building his beloved Marlinda Villas and Rancho Escondido in Mexico. After graduating from college in the mid 1960s, he started his business career working for IBM and then Honeywell in Denver where he met his wife Helene. With hard work, effort, and vision he pursued an opportunity to start his own company by moving to Connecticut in 1981 to open a Colortyme retail franchise. Over the next 26 years he built his business, employing and giving many people opportunities, eventually growing his retail business to include stores all over the Northeast.

Ned was a "one of a kind person," a wonderful father, a loving husband and family man, and a true friend. A truly good person, his kind and generous spirit will be sadly missed by all those who knew him. He is survived by his wife Helene of 49 years, his beloved daughter Bridget, and two very close siblings, his sister Lynn and brother Barry.

Ned did not wish to have a funeral or memorial service, but plans are still to be determined for a more informal gathering in his memory. If you wish to honor Ned, spend time with those closest to you, don’t take anything for granted, especially your health, and remember to laugh and smile. Above all don’t take yourself too seriously! Life, indeed, is too short. To leave condolences or share memories of Ned, visit Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home at

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