Anthony N. Johns Jr., 74, architect program head

December 03, 2003|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Anthony N. Johns Jr., retired director of Morgan State University's architecture and urban planning program, died of sepsis Friday at Washington Hospital Center. He was 74 and had homes in Baltimore's Coldspring New Town and Prince George's County.

Born in Texarkana, Ark., he enlisted in the Army in 1950 and attended Officers Candidate School at Fort Belvoir, Va. He attained the rank of first lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers, then remained an officer in the Army Reserves.

Mr. Johns earned a bachelor of science degree from Hampton University in 1955 and a bachelor of architecture degree, and later his master's in architecture, from the University of Illinois at Urbana, where he also taught.

He moved to Glenarden in Prince George's in 1962 and worked as an architect in Washington, Maryland and Virginia.

He received a design award from the Maryland Department of General Services in 1978 for his design of Coppin State College's college center on West North Avenue. Other architectural projects on which he worked included buildings at what is now Bowie State University, the Fairmount Heights Public Library, and renovation of the Orchard Street Church in Baltimore's Seton Hill.

Mr. Johns began teaching architecture at Howard University in 1963 and was named a professor there 12 years later. He also was chairman of its architecture department from 1981 until his retirement in 1985.

Mr. Johns then became the director of the Institute of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University. Under his leadership, its three programs - architecture, landscape architecture and city and regional planning - were fully accredited in 1993. He retired in 1997.

Mr. Johns was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1994 "in recognition of his significant contributions to the practice, education and service of architecture."

Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at the J. B. Jenkins Funeral Home, 7474 Landover Road, Landover.

Survivors include his wife of 10 years, the former Christanta deJesus Ricks, a Morgan accounting professor; three daughters, Angela Cunningham of Glenarden, Sheila Boyce of Memphis, Tenn., and Phyllis Tucker of Tyler, Texas; a stepson, Cory Ricks of Laurel; a stepdaughter, Ricquel Ricks-Cumbo of Baltimore; and eight grandchildren. A daughter, Monica Johns-Stevison, died in July. His wife of 34 years, Bonnie Faye Tucker, a former Prince George's school board chairwoman, died in 1988.

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