JOHNS, GERE HOWARD, 82
Gere Howard Johns (82), Mother, Creative Designer, Needlepoint Artist, and Conservationist Gere Howard Johns died at home peacefully on Thursday, February 20, 2014 after a courageous battle with lung cancer and pulmonary fibrosis. She was born April 26, 1931 in Dukes, FL at her grandfather's home. She is survived by daughter, Debra Johns (husband Frank Williams), Pomona, CA; son, Phillip Johns (wife Linda), Santa Fe Lake; her brother John Marcus Howard (wife Cheryl), Dukes, FL; seven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; one great-great grandchild, and many cousins and friends. Gere was predeceased by her beloved husband Jerome of 56 years, her mother and father, John Marcus and Blanche Roberts Howard.
Gere graduated from Union County High School in 1949 as the Class Valedictorian. She was active in extracurricular activities (State and National Officer of the Future Homemakers of American (FHA), a captain of the basketball team, and was a cheerleader).
She attended Stetson University where she was Captain of the Cheerleaders, a member of Alpha Xi Delta Sorority, and the Glee Club. She also attended the University of Florida.
Gere completed a 10 year study of the piano at the St. Louis Institute of Music, St. Louis, MO.
Gere was a founding member and president of the Crystal Lake Environmental Organization (CLEO). She was a self-taught water and ecosystem expert. She was a member and past President of the Starke Women's Club, past President of the Friends of the Library, a Girl Scout Leader, a Boy Scout Den Mother and a teacher at Youth Camp.
Gere was a master of Needlepoint. She created six pieces of needlepoint entitled, "The Creation" and donated the work to the United Methodist Church in Keystone Heights, where she was a member and was loved by many. This work took hundreds of hours to complete. Over the years she used her talent of needlepoint to create personal gifts to show her love for family and friends.
A Celebration of Gere's Life will be held Sunday March 2, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Keystone United Methodist Church on State Road 21, Keystone Heights, FL. A private interment for immediate family will be prior to the Celebration of Life.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Haven Hospice, 4200 NW 90th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32606. Arrangements are under the direction of Jones-Gallagher Funeral home of Starke 904-964-6200. On-line condolences may be left at
Jones-Gallagher Funeral Home
620 E Nona St Starke, FL 32091
Published in Gainesville Sun from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2014