Local Musician, Educator, Father, Grandfather Lloyd E. Johns, age 86, of Millcreek Township and Gulfport, Fla., passed away on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, in Erie, after a brief illness. He was born in Corry, Pa., May 10, 1926, the son of the late Lloyd W. and Gladys E. Laws Johns. He graduated from Millcreek High School in 1944. He received his BA in music at Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He received his MA in music from SUNY Fredonia. He began his career in the Springfield School District, taught in Millcreek School District, Behrend Campus of Penn State University
and St. John's in Girard. He was a lifetime member of Local 17 of American Federation of Musicians. He was a member of Gulfport Presbyterian Church, American Legion Post 742, VFW
, and Elks Club
. He was a member of the Lions Club and wrote plays to benefit McDowell Prom-to-Dawn. He was the McDowell instrumental music director and his Marching Band took 2nd place in National competition. He played in the Tommy Dorsey Band, fronted by Warren Covington, and was a sought after musician in other well-known bands. He directed the local Shrine and East Erie Turners bands, and performed in the Erie Arts Festival, Erie Playhouse, summer concerts in the park with the Savelli & Sulkowski Bands, Dixie Doodlers, and at the Chautauqua Institution, receiving a standing ovation at age 86. He gave private instruction and founded the Lake Erie Music Camp. Summers were spent painting houses with his fellow teachers and all of his grandsons. Lloyd was known for his brilliant musical talent, playing professionally since age 12, on both sax and clarinet. He was active until his death, directing and fronting his 18-piece Gulfbay Big Band in Fla. No one played clarinet with the same passion, skill or sound. His life was devoted to music and encouraging his many students to aspire to greatness. He loved entertaining, enjoyed the company of people, and had many close friends. He was known for his big smile and teasing ways. He was a tremendous American patriot. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps
during WWII in the Pacific Theatre Campaign. He was assigned to the 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, 8th Marines, aboard Saipan and Nagasaki as a member of a Provisional Rifle Platoon. He was a proud member of USMC Band. He knew in depth presidential, WWII, and Civil War history. He loved being outdoors, spending time with his grandchildren and having a bonfire. His warmth and brightness will be missed by all who knew him. He is survived by his four daughters: Kathleen Sturtevant (Thomas) of Girard, Jacquelyn Dietsch (Thomas) of Erie, Peggy Hoff (Thomas) of Midland, Mich., and Priscilla Johns of Millcreek; 11 grandchildren: Jessica Decker, Benjamin & Nicholas Sturtevant, Rebecca Gerken, Erica Coe, David and Craig Evanoff, Nathan and Zachary Dietsch, Emily Goodell and Christopher Hoff; and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by the love of his life and best friend, Margaret Wells Johns, to whom he was married 64 years. She passed away in October 2012. He was also preceded by his brother, David Moore Johns, and infant son David M. Johns. Friends may call at the Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 4216 Sterrettania Rd, on Sunday from 7-9 p.m. and Monday 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m., and are invited there on Tuesday for the funeral service at 11 a.m. conducted by the Rev. Nicola Vitiello. Interment at Laurel Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Lloyd Johns Memorial Fund c/o 5213 Grubb Road Erie, PA 16506 or the Gulfport Presbyterian Church Building Fund, 5313 27th Ave. S., Gulfport, FL 33707.