Dennis “Coach” Johns was born on March 28 in Marshalltown, Iowa to Paul and Frances Johns. Later, his family moved to Zearing, Iowa to grow the family grain elevator business. After graduating from high school in 1954, he attended and received his bachelor’s degree and teaching certification from the Iowa State Teacher’s College (now called University of Northern Iowa/UNI) in Cedar Falls. He later received his master of arts degree from Western Illinois University in 1972.
Dennis began teaching and coaching in Melvin, Iowa, for two years and then joined the faculty at Walcott (part of Davenport Community schools), as the physical education and health teacher, and the head football coach for 7th, 8th and 9th grades. Although coaching football is what he is most known for, he coached boys' basketball for 16 years, boys' track for 15 years, and girls' basketball eight years during his tenure at Walcott.
Coach Johns retired after 36 years at Walcott in 1998 with some memorable accomplishments. His 8th grade boys' basketball team tied for city championship in 1967, and he was part of the Steering Committee for Title IX, representing Health, PE, Sports and Recreation (girls did not have athletics until Title 9).
Aside from his teaching career, he was very active in his community. He served as a deacon and elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Davenport, was a Boy Scout leader for Troop 4, coached softball (Dad’s Club and 4-H) to children who lived in the neighborhood, and served as a member of the Audit and Finance Committee at the Teacher’s Credit Union (12 years). Dennis was a very active member of the Davenport Chordbuster Barbershop Chorus, serving as the president two years, treasurer for two years, and voted as ‘‘Chordbuster of the Year” and “Hall of Famer-Outstanding member of the Chorus.”
Dennis has a passion for: History (wars, dead presidents, historical places); Ancestry (he is forever working on the family tree); Politics and politicians; Music and theater (especially show tunes and Shakespeare); and a huge fascination of trains and railroads.
Dennis “Coach” Johns is married to his wife, Ella (Macomber of Buffalo, Iowa), and has two children, Charles (wife Michelle) and Laura Johns-Teatsworth (husband Jack), and seven grandchildren. Dennis and Ella recently moved to League City, Texas, to be closer to family.
Please shower Dennis Johns with cards to celebrate his 85th birthday. A greeting card may be sent to: Dennis Johns, 971 Ponte Serra Drive, League City, TX 77573.