|Birth: ||May 12, 1914|
|Death: ||Aug. 26, 2010|
Santa Barbara County
When asked, "What personality, in fact or fiction, do you think towers above all others?" Mr. Johnson answered, "Adam...for bringing man into the world's stage of life."
John was born in a small house near what is now the present city of Brea, Orange County, California. The structure was built specifically for the Olinda Oil Company. John's father, who worked for Olinda, helped bull doze a road up the side of the Santa Ana Canyon.
In 1919, John's parents, John Waldo Johnson and Lulu May Berryman, purchased a walnut grove at Anaheim in Orange County. By the 1930 Federal Census, the Johnsons were living on Houston Street in Anaheim. John's father supported his family with income he earned by working in the oil fields. At time there were three Johnson children, Laura, John, and Waldo.
John worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps for thirteen months beginning in 1934. He quit to attend the University of California at Berkeley. In 1938 he received a degree in entomology from the College of Agriculture.
John went to work for the U. S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Entomology and Plant Quarantine. While employed there, John had some scientific articles published containing various entomological topics. He completed the courses required for a teaching certificate in 1942 and then began teaching at Newport Harbor High in Newport Beach, California. He taught biology, chemistry, and science at NHHS until he became chairman of the science department at Corona Del Mar High in 1962, a position he held until his retirement in 1974. His wife, Ruth, who also taught at NHHS, went on to teach at Costa Mesa High School and also retired in 1974.
In 1948, John married Ruth Berdine Daniell, a math teacher he had met at Newport Harbor High. They had three sons and resided in Corona Del Mar.
From 1961-1962, John took a sabbatical to study dune flora at the northern spit of Humboldt Bay. A year later he received a master's degree from Humboldt State College.
The Lepidopterists Society honored John in 1993 for his environmental contributions and he was honored by the National Audubon Society in 1969, for his work in conservation. John was named Orange County teacher of the year in 1968 and in 1970, he was selected teacher of the year by the Newport-Mesa Unified School District. A moth, the Catocaia johnsoniana and the Puto johnsoni mealy bug were named in John's honor.
It is estimated 5,000 students passed through John's classes throughout his career and many remained in touch throughout John's life.
Once retired, John and Ruth settled in Santa Barbara near their son and two grandchildren. Ruth preceded John in death, having passed in 2003. John's ashes were interred in a family plot at the Anaheim Cemetery in Orange County.
Links to Find-A-Grave memorials of some other Newport Harbor High school graduates and teachers can be found listed with Lt. Kent Anderson, class of 1962:
Lieutenant Kent Anderson - Class of 1962
Ruth Berdine Daniell Johnson (1912 - 2003)*
Created by: Jo-Ann
Record added: Jul 12, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 93479586