Benjamin Irving Johns, 88

Published 3:26 pm Tuesday, October 9, 2012

CHARLOTTESVILLE, October 9 – Benjamin Irving Johns, 88, died Friday, October 5, 2012 at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge in Charlottesville.

He was born in Farmville on February 19, 1924, to Reuben Benjamin and Mary Page Irving Johns. After graduating from Farmville High School, he attended St. Christopher's in Richmond for a PG year. In l944, he graduated from Hampden-Sydney College with a B.S. and served in the Navy with the V-12 program, later achieving a MS in Biology from UVA. Starting his 39-year teaching career at St. Stephens School in Alexandria, Mr. Johns subsequently taught at Episcopal High School from 1958 until his retirement in 1989. He was head of the Science department at both schools and was AP Biology reader for ten years. He loved coaching, after football and basketball, he primarily coached varsity tennis for over 20 years, and was honored by the IAC by naming the league tennis tournament “The Ben Johns Invitational,” in which two of his grandsons later played. His passion for tennis continued well into his retirement.

Mr. Johns is survived by his wife of 64 years, Elizabeth Newell Johns and four children, Mary Page Johns Sullivan, Elizabeth Johns Ferguson (Richard), Benjamin Irving Johns Jr. (Deb), and William Randolph Johns (Chrissy) along with his beloved grandchildren, Elizabeth Sullivan, Mac Sullivan, Smith Ferguson, Martha Ferguson Burke, Tucker Johns, Bo Johns, Gibson Johns, Gussie Johns, Lucy Grace Johns and Henry Johns.

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His passions were, primarily his family, nature, animals, and sports of all kinds. He kept active up until the end with his motto, “I have never said I'm too old to do anything.”

A memorial service was held in the chapel at Westminster Canterbury of the Blue Ridge, in Charlottesville, on Tuesday, October 9.

Family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Go Bo Fund, in honor of grandson, Bo Johns, P.O. Box 25685, Washington, D. C. 20027 or St. George's Independent School, 1880 Wolf River Blvd, Collierville, TN 38018.<br />
Anderson Funeral Home, Crozet, served the family.