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William Johns

William Jonathan Johns Jr.

MANSFIELD: William Jonathan "Bill" Johns Jr. passed away Wednesday, January 2, 2013 following a short illness. He was 71.

Born April 20, 1941 in Lima he was the son of William Johns Sr. and Mary Dixie (Humphreys) Johns and was the great-great-nephew of American poet, James Whitcomb Riley.

After he was graduated from Mansfield Senior High in 1959, William studied history, religion, and political science at Ashland University where he earned his bachelor's degree. He later earned a master's degree in business administration and attended Princeton seminary.

William served his country as a member of the US Marine Corps. After he was honorably discharged he volunteered during the Tet Offensive in Vietnam as Field Director of the American Red Cross. He was also active in politics and ran for Mayor of Mansfield as an independent in his younger years.

Bill worked as a professor of business, teaching at North Central State College and later a number of years at Ferris State University. He even had a short stint as an actor: Bill had a small role in the feature film Harry and Walter Go to New York, 1976.

He was a member of Venus Lodge #152 F&AM in Mansfield and American Legion Post #225 of Lansing, MI.

Bill is survived by his brother Paul B. Johns of Mansfield; his sister Jeneva Johns of Mansfield; a brother-in-law Donald E. Bryan; niece Paula (Johns) Rose; great-nephew Curren Rose; cousins Kathy (Long) Mess, Missy (Long) Lapeer, Alyssa Long, Paul Tyson, and Janet (Tyson) Tracy; and numerous extended relatives who reside in West Virginia.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Bill's family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 8, 2013 in the Finefrock Chapel of the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home where funeral services will be held the following morning at 10:30 a.m. Pastor Wendell Anderson will officiate. Military honors will be provided by the Richland County Joint Veteran's Burial Detail and burial will follow in Mansfield Cemetery.

Private condolences to Bill's family may be made by visiting: www.snyderfuneralhomes.com

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Published in the News Journal on Jan. 7, 2013
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