Fayette County native Edith Johns is celebrating her 103rd birthday today.
Edith was born Aug. 31, 1919 in the outskirts of Washington Court House to James and Josephine Harris.
The year Edith was born, things were a lot different than they are today. A gallon of gas was only 25 cents, a new home was around $5,626, a new car was around $355, and the average yearly income was around $1,125.
Jackie Robinson and Nat King Cole were also born in 1919 and the President of the US at the time was Woodrow Wilson. This was also the year that the Senate passed the Women’s Suffrage Bill.
The US population was only 104.5 million then and now sits at almost 333 million.
At the early age of 2-years-old, Edith’s mother passed away, so she and her two older sisters were sent to live with their grandmother.
Once her father remarried, he came back for his daughters but her grandmother kept Edith because she believed she was too young to be raised by a stepmother. Every summer, once the school year was over, Edith’s sisters would come to visit her and their grandmother.
Edith graduated high school from Jeffersonville Schools. She was unable to 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, Theodore died at the young age of 41. She never remarried because she said her husband “spoiled” her and she never again met a man that treated her as well as he did.
She spent her life after high school working at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. After her husband died, she decided to move to Dayton to avoid the long commute to work. She retired from WPAFB after 38 years of service and her last position there was in the Combat Identification Department.
Edith is a lifelong A.M.E., originally worshiping at Rodgers Chapel A.M.E. Church in Washington C.H., where she continued to travel for Sunday services even after she moved to Dayton. She worked numerous times in the church’s food pantry, passing out food to those in need.
In 1966, she changed her membership to Wayman Chapel A.M.E. Church in Dayton and has been a member there for 53 years.
Edith said that the highlights of her life were her travel experiences. Her travel buddies, Laura Lansdown and Tiney Crosby, have accompanied her to five continents. She has visited North and South America, Asia (China and Russia), Europe (Norway, Spain, Austria, and Italy), and Africa. Out of all the places she has visited, her favorite trip was to the Holy Lands because “walking where Jesus walked was amazing and the countries were beautiful!”
Edith is very close with several of her nieces and nephews who call her “Auntie Peanut” because of her petite stature.
Edith has lived a life many dream of living and has many stories from over the decades. She now resides and is being cared for in Friendship Village Nursing Facility in Dayton.