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Mary Johns

December 11, 1909 - October 20, 1998

The Norman Transcript
October 23, 1998

Mary Avolyn Johns, long-time Norman resident and former biology teacher at Norman High School died Oct. 20 at Norman Regional Hospital. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday in the North Hallock Hall of the First Baptist Church of Norman.

Mrs. Johns was born in 1909 in Worcester, Mass. Her family moved to Norman in 1916 when her father, Professor James C. Davis, was appointed professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Oklahoma. Mrs. Johns attended Worcester and Norman public schools and graduated from Central High School in Oklahoma City in 1927. She remembered commuting to school on the old Inter-urban trains. She received a B.A. in public school music from OU with a minor in voice.

The year before she graduated, she was offered a position as grade and high school music teacher at Seminole. Her first day there, she met her future husband, O.D. Johns, who was then prinicpal of the elementary school. They were married the following June in 1931. They lived in Seminole until 1959, raising two sons, Oliver and Jim. She taught science in the public schools and sang in the choir and taught Sunday school at the First Baptist Church. She was a member of the Seminole Federated Music Clubs and was active in other civic organizations.

in 1959, she returned to Norman when Dr. Johns, who had been principal of Seminole High School and from superintendent of Seminole City schools, was recruited as professor of education and assistant dean of the OU College of Education. Her first day back to Norman, she began study for her master's degree in biology. She taught biology and science at Central Junior High in Norman from 1959 to 1966 when she received her master of natural science degree. From 1966 until 1971, she was the biology teacher at Norman High School. She retired in 1971 and began with her husband, 10 years of travel in an air-stream trailer, visiting almost every state of Mexico, Guatemala, and both coasts of Canada and the United States. She was an avid natural scientist and birder with a life list of over 800 birds, and an extensive collection of minerals and fossils. She was a member of the daughters of the American Revolution, the national and Cleveland County Audubon societies and the Ragged Robin Garden Club of Norman, of which she was a past president.

Survivors include two sons, Oliver Davis Johns of San Francisco, Calif.; and James Stephens Johns of Newton, Mass.; a sister-in-law, Anna Laura Clary of Marble Falls, Texas and a daughter-in-law, Lucy Johns of San Francisco.

Sharing Memories of Mary Johns
e-mail to Peggy Smith


NHS 1969 Teachers

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