Robert L. Johns, 81

Retired prison official

October 18, 2007

Robert Lee Johns, retired acting director of the Patuxent Institution, died Friday in a Reisterstown Road automobile accident. The Pikesville resident was 81.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Fremont Avenue, he graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1944. During World War II, he served in the Marine Corps in the Pacific. After the war, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree at Morgan State University and joined Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He earned a master's degree in social work from Howard University.

He became a Baltimore police officer in 1959 and was a foot patrolman, crime lab worker and vice squad member. He left the force in 1965 and became a Patuxent Institution social worker, supervisor of social services, director of a halfway house, assistant superintendent and associate director. He retired in 1989 as acting director.

Mr. Johns enjoyed spending time at the Kappa House on Liberty Road. He also was an avid amateur photographer.

"His hobby was meeting people. He never met a stranger," said his daughter Joni Lee Johns Williams of Owings Mills.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow at River of Life Christian Center, 5225 Hamilton Ave.

Other survivors include a son, Rodney Lee Kendall of Burnsville, Minn.; another daughter, Carolyn Marie Keyes of Nottingham; a brother, Everett Earl Johns of Owings Mills; and five grandchildren. His marriages to Doris Freeland and Anna Ruth Wysong ended in divorce.

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