Robert Henry Johns, 77, of Sheridan (Terhune), was called home on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.
He was born in Lebanon, Ind. on Oct. 30, 1942 to the late Henry Clifford and Florence Mable (Demaree) Johns.
Mr. Johns was a 1960 Sheridan High School graduate. He attended Purdue University from 1960-62 then transferred to the University of Oklahoma where he finished earning his bachelor’s degree in meteorology in 1965.
His interest in weather started at a very young age. His father Henry owned / operated a general store in Terhune. Being in the heart of farm country, the farmers would come into the store and always talk about the weather, primarily if there would be enough rain or if the rain would cease any time soon, etc. The farmers would also talk about rain patterns, and when it did rain how many inches they collected in their rain gauges.
Mr. Johns made his own rain gauge out of a tomato can and placed two bricks on each side of the can. He used a wooden ruler to measure the rain water that old can collected. From there, his interest in meteorology started. After high school graduation he got his first break working as a student trainee for the Indianapolis Weather Bureau Office. After earning his bachelor’s degree he was assigned to work at the Weather Bureau Office in Ft. Wayne.
Mr. Johns then became a Lieutenant and Ship Officer on the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey Corps. After retiring from the military he resumed his job as a meteorologist for the National Weather Service Forecast Office, National Severe Storms Forecast Center. From there his job shifted to Science & Operations Officer, Storm Prediction Center. He once told his parents that he felt guilty for being paid to do something that he loved so much.
During his career he wrote numerous publications and is an author of two books, (The 1925 Tri-State Tornado’s Devastation & Palm Sunday 1965 in Central Indiana). Mr. Johns' research projects on severe storms and tornadoes were one of his many passions along with his workshops on predicting severe storms. It’s been said that his detailed surface charts were works of art!
When he wasn’t working you might find him walking the many miles of trails on his Norman, Okla. farm or hosting a barbeque party with his friends. He was a kind and humble man, a mentor and inspirational leader to many . . . a meteorologist of such accomplishment that will truly be missed by his colleagues & family.
Survivors include his brother Donald D. Johns and his bonus sister Myrna K. (Demaree) Rodriguez.
He was preceded in death by his parents Henry & Florence Johns, and his sister Mary E. (Johns) Calvert.
A private family graveside service will be held at Crown View Cemetery in Sheridana. All are encouraged to leave a condolence or to sign his guest book at fisherfunerals.com.
Fisher Family Funeral Services is honored to serve the Johns Family.