A 90th Surprise Birthday Party for Ellen L. Camper Johns


It was a difficult task to convince the feisty Ellen Louise Camper Johns to hold her weekly meeting of “Seniors on the Go” in a room other than her scheduled location in the church. However, she was eventually convinced that work was being completed in the hall, and her meeting should be held upstairs. Everyone but Mrs. Johns was in on the secret.

So, it was much to her great surprise when she stepped into the room to find her senior friends who had just left the meeting, along with many other members of Union Memorial United Methodist Church and outside guests and friends of the honoree. The group sang “Happy Birthday” (Stevie Wonder’s version) as the shocked Mrs. Johns came close to tears as she worked her way around the room to greet her guests.

Mrs. Johns was delivered by her father, Dr. John E. T. Camper on Oct. 30, 1923 in Baltimore. She graduated from Frederick Douglass High School, Coppin Teachers College and earned a master’s in early education at New York University. Her teaching career included schools #100 and #113 and she became an assistant principal at Robert Coleman School. She later became principal at Sarah M. Roach #73 and retired in 1956.

Her church activities consist of coordinating activities for “Seniors on the Go,” serving as director of the Anna Wise Smith Scholarship Fund, certified lay servant and lay member to the Baltimore Washington Conference. Still, not busy enough, she serves as business manager for the Union Players (a group that performs throughout the Baltimore area). She is also a member of the Staff Parish Relations Committee.

She was married to the love of her life, the late Glendi E. Johns for 62 years, and they had one daughter, Roderica Johns Mills who passed away in March 2013.

Each speaker praised Mrs. Johns for her strength, her commitment to the church and the community, her helpfulness to others and her devotion and service to God.

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A 90th Surprise Birthday Party for Ellen L. Camper Johns

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