James A. Johns III, former director of administration and finance for information technologies at the Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Hospital, died Sunday of cancer at his Columbia home. He was 71.
James Alexander III, who was the son of James A. Alexander Jr., president of Noon Electric Co., and his wife, Eileen Johns, a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised there.
A 1965 graduate of McDonogh School, Mr. Johns received a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education in 1969 from Clemson University, and a master’s from Johns Hopkins.
From 1970 to 1975, he taught science and history at Rolling Road School in Catonsville, and then joined the faculty of Pikesville Junior High School. He taught history and economics at Pikesville Senior High School from 1980 to 1985.
He spent the last years of his teaching career, 1985 to 1987, at Catonsville High School. “Wherever we went we would bump into his former students who would often exclaim, ‘Mr. Johns, you were my favorite teacher of all time,’ ” said his wife of 48 years, the former Tondra “Toni” Johns, a retired administrative assistant.
“So many students have kept in touch with him over the years,” she said. “Just three months ago, Pikesville Senior High’s Class of 1983 invited Jim to their 35th reunion.”
Mr. Johns worked from 1990 to 2000 in finance at the Johns Hopkins Hospital before he transferred to the John Hopkins University, where he spent 15 years as director of administration and finance for information technologies at both the university and hospital.
He retired in 2015 after suffering several strokes.
He and his wife lived in the city’s Beechfield neighborhood for 22 years before settling in Columbia in 1992.
Mr. Johns was board chairman of Metro Maryland Youth for Christ and had been a board member of Peter and John Ministries, the organization that operates River Valley Ranch, a youth summer camp in Manchester, and Shine FM-Radio.
He was a former board member of the Johns Hopkins Credit Union and McDonogh School. Mr. Johns helped train telephone counselors for the Billy Graham Television Ministry, and helped plan a William Franklin Graham III Festival for a son of the noted evangelist that was held at Camden Yards in 2006.
Mr. Johns was an avid reader, and other hobbies included coin and stamp collecting. Because he had been a history teacher, he liked visiting historical sites and homes.
He was a member of Grace Community Church at 8200 Old Columbia Road in Fulton, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a brother, Tim Johns of Landisville, Pa.; three sisters, Phyllis Boulden of Annapolis, Eunice Emge of York, Pa., and Helen Demsko of Reading, Pa.; and many nieces and nephews.