Naomi Fern Johns, long time resident of St. Marys, passed away peacefully on January 28, 2018. She was born in Auglaize County on September 11, 1929 to Roy and Koneta (Place) Leffel.
Fern’s passions in life were her church, family, education, community and service. She was a woman with a servant’s heart, immeasurable patience, unbounding energy and a core of steel. After graduation from Memorial High School in 1947, she attended teacher training at Bowling Green State University. She was a first grade teacher for 30 years for the St. Marys City Schools. While teaching and raising her family, she went on to earn her Bachelors from Ohio Northern University and a Masters degree from Wright State University. She taught nearly 1000 Rough Riders how to read. Her commitment to education put her in a class by herself. Upon her retirement, she sold World Book Encyclopedias and worked at Educators School Supply. Fern gave of herself through countless hours of volunteer work at JTDM Hospital, St. Marys City Schools, St. Paul’s UCC, Community Public Library, Red Cross Bloodmobile, American Legion, and Grand Lake Home Health and Hospice.
She was happily married to Ned E. Johns for 54 years, until his death in 2004. They were owners of Johns Furniture and Floor Covering along with sister-in-law Ruth Langsdon in downtown St. Marys for 37 years.
Fern is survived by her five children; Faye and Tom Bartlett of Memphis, Tennessee, Luanne and Harry Davakos of Charleston, South Carolina, Jodie and Douglas Goens of Bossier City, Louisiana, Gary and Peggy Johns of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Kathryn and Steve Frankenberg of New Bremen, Ohio; 15 grandchildren, Karah Bartlett, Elizabeth Bartlett, Amy Bartlett, Melinda and Jon Duncan, Demetri and Meredith Davakos, Telly Davakos, Sara Lynn, Jesse and Michea Goens, Kyle and Ellie Johns, Blaire Johns, Madeline Johns, Abigail Frankenberg, Lee Frankenberg, Dean Frankenberg and Joanna Frankenberg; and 12 great-grandchildren; Michael Cox, Adrian, Lillian and Christian Felix, Gwyneth Webb, Ari, Vera Anne and Vivienne Davakos, Charlie and Maxwell Goens, Eleanor Fern and Finley Duncan. She is also survived by sister-in-law Rose Leffel, dear family friend Paul Whetstone, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
Preceding her in death were her husband, Ned E. Johns, brother, Roger Leffel, in-laws Myron and Zimmie Johns, Dick Johns, and Ruth (Schultz) Johns and Richard Langsdon.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, February 3 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Saint Marys at 10:30.
Visitation will be Friday, February 2, 4:00-7:00 at Miller-Long & Folk Funeral Home ( 314 W. High Street Chapel) and again 9:00-10:00 on Saturday morning, February 3 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ.
In lieu of flowers, the preferred memorial donations are for the Ned and Fern Johns Clear Passage Endowment Fund (JTD Hospital Foundation), St. Paul’s United Church of Christ or St. Marys Community Public Library.