Fayette County native Edith Johns celebrates her 103rd birthday today.
Edith was born on August 31, 1919 in the suburb of Washington Court House to James and Josephine Harris.
The year Edith was born, things were very different from what they are today. A gallon of gasoline cost only 25 cents, a new house cost about $5,626, a new car cost about $355, and the average annual income was about $1,125.
Jackie Robinson and Nat King Cole were also born in 1919 and the President of the United States at the time was Woodrow Wilson. It was also the year the Senate passed the Women’s Suffrage Bill.
The US population was then only 104.5 million and now stands at nearly 333 million.
When she was 2 years old, Edith’s mother died, so she and her two older sisters were sent to live with their grandmother.
Once her father remarried, he returned to collect his daughters but her grandmother kept Edith as she thought she was too young to be raised by a stepmother. Every summer, after the school year was over, Edith’s sisters came to visit her and their grandmother.
Edith is a high school graduate of Jeffersonville Schools. She couldn’t go to college because her grandmother had suffered a stroke and she stayed home to take care of her.
For 21 happy years, Edith was married to the love of her life, Theodore Johns. Sadly, Théodore passed away at the age of 41. She never remarried because she said her husband “spoiled” her and she never again met a man who treated her as well as he did.
She spent her life after high school working at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. After her husband’s death, she decided to move to Dayton to avoid long commutes to work. She retired from the WPAFB after 38 years of service and her last posting there was in the Combat Identification Department.
Edith is a longtime AME, originally worshiping at Rodgers Chapel AME Church in Washington CH, where she continued to travel for Sunday services even after moving to Dayton. She worked many times in the church pantry, distributing food to those in need.
In 1966, she changed her membership to Wayman Chapel AME Church in Dayton and has been a member there for 53 years.
Edith said the highlights of her life were her travel experiences. Her traveling companions, Laura Lansdown and Tiney Crosby, accompanied her on five continents. She has visited North and South America, Asia (China and Russia), Europe (Norway, Spain, Austria and Italy) and Africa. Of all the places she visited, her favorite trip was to the Holy Land because “walking where Jesus walked was amazing and the lands were beautiful!” »
Edith is very close to several of her nieces and nephews who call her “Auntie Peanut” because of her short stature.
Edith has lived a life that many dream of living and has many stories over the decades. She now resides and is being cared for at the Friendship Village Nursing Facility in Dayton.