James Thomas Johns “Jim” was born on January 13, 1927 in a small logging town. Vernonia was his birthplace and life-long home. He was the first born of George “Scotty” and Katherine (Fulton) Johns. Jim passed away quietly at the family home on August 18, 2015.
Jim was raised and received his education in the Vernonia community. The first school he attended was Pleasant Hill, attending Washington Grade School in his 8th grade year, completing his education in the Vernonia High School Class of 1945.
Jim enlisted in the Navy in January of 1945 and proudly served is country in WWII. He attended Pacific University and received a degree in business. This was the only time he lived outside the Vernonia community.
He was drafted into being a “fill-in” teacher by the principal of Washington Grade School. After a short time he realized he had found his calling and began taking classes and earned a teaching degree. He met and married his sweetheart Ginger while both were teaching at Washington Grade School. They both spent their entire career at WGS.
After 34 years of teaching Jim retired so he could spend more time doing what he loved….being in the outdoors. He thoroughly enjoyed hunting and fishing and many pack trips spent with friends. Jim’s most cherished moments were spending time with his son Tim.
After retiring he and Ginger enjoyed travelling around the country with friends. They spent time in Mexico, Alaska and all over the Northwest. He especially enjoyed spending time with Tim, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Ask anyone who has gone to school in Vernonia and they will have a Mr. Johns story to tell. He was loved and respected by all who knew him. His legacy will live long in Vernonia and beyond.
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