Mary Elizabeth “Dixie” Johns

August 06, 1915 ‒ June 28, 2010

Mansfield, Ohio

MANSFIELD ~ Mary Elizabeth (Humphreys) “Dixie” Johns, 95, died Monday, June 28, 2010 at Lexington Court Care Center.

Born in 1915 in Philippi, West Virginia, she was the daughter of the late Albert and Edna (Riley) Humphreys and was the great niece of James Whitcomb Riley the American poet. She studied English literature at Denison University in Granville, and later attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, LA and Ashland College in Ashland. She was an avid reader; politics, history and religion were her favorite topics, and she spent many evenings reading the English classics and poetry to her children or guiding their education.

As a new bride, she gained some fame when her car slipped out of gear and knocked down a set of steps next to the Richland County Court House only to find out they belonged to the Sheriff’s Department. The good-natured sheriff welcomed her to Mansfield and said he needed new steps anyway. Later as a young wife, she was shocked when the H-bomb was dropped on Japan on her birthday and from that day on she made it a point of being informed on current events and both she and her husband were active in local politics. She was a member of First Alliance Church, Jared Mansfield Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Masonic order of the Eastern Star, Republican Women’s Club and many other organizations. Later in the 1950s, she worked for the US Bureau of Census and helped at the polls on voting days.

She and her husband, William Johns, Sr., built and operated two ocean front hotels in Daytona Beach, Florida where their three children spent their childhood. During her lifetime she moved 52 times, enjoying traveling to new places, and learning new things. She remained active until her final years and went peacefully to be with the Lord and her husband.

Surviving are her three children; sons William Johns, Jr., and Paul Johns, a daughter Jeneva Johns and son-in-law Donald E. Bryan all of Mansfield. Also surviving are her granddaughter Paula Johns Rose, great grandson Curran Rose, nieces Kathy Long Mess, Missy Long Napeer and Alyssia Long all of Mansfield. Out of town relatives include nephew Paul Tyson of Canada, niece Janet Tyson Tracy of Florida and other relatives in West Virginia.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband William J. Johns, Sr.; a sister Evangeline Myers; and brothers Dean Tyson and DeWitt Tyson.

Friends may call Thursday, July 1, 2010 from 2-5 and 7-9 p.m. in the Finefrock Chapel of the Marion Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, 350 Marion Avenue (Former Finefrock Funeral Home). Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 2, 2010 at 1:30 p.m. in the funeral home. Burial will follow in Mansfield Cemetery.

Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve the Johns family, and condolences to them may be made online at: