Cover photo for Rev. Harry H. Johns Iii's Obituary

Rev. Harry H. Johns Iii

d. December 31, 2022

Rev. Harry H. Johns III

The Rev. Harry H. Johns, III, age 80, died peacefully in his sleep on Saturday, December 31, 2022. He was born in Pittsburgh, PA, the only child of the late Harry H. Johns, Jr. and Edithbelle Ward Johns.

Upon graduating from Bellevue High School, Harry attended Geneva College and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and History. Harry went on to earn his Master of Divinity degree at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He accepted his first call from Orwell North Church, Orwell, OH where he was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament by the Presbytery of Cleveland in June 1967. He served two years before following a call to Valley Presbyterian Church, Imperial, PA. In 1978, he moved to Erie to serve for the next thirty years as Pastor of Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church, where upon retirement he was named Pastor Emeritus. For the last fifteen years, he served as Pastor of Adamsville Presbyterian Church, Adamsville, PA.

It was an honor and privilege for him to serve for over 30 years as both Chaplain of the Erie Fire Department and Chaplain for VNA Hospice of Erie County. Harry was a minister member of the Presbytery of Lake Erie serving on many committees over the last forty-four years. A true highlight was serving as Presbytery Moderator. Harry valued engaging in ecumenical work serving Interchurch Ministries of Erie County as a board member and later as President. Being a child of God, a follower of Jesus, and serving in ministry defined him.

In 1968, he married his first wife, Marlane Barta with whom he had four children. Harry married his wife of 33 years, Diana Buszek Thomas on August 5, 1989 and gained five additional children. As an only child, it was truly a treasure to have a large family to love.

He was an avid history buff, enjoyed reading and was a diehard Steelers and Pirates fan.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son-in-law, Mark Tupek and his step-son, Richard Williamson, Jr.

He is survived by his loving wife, Diana Buszek Johns; six daughters, Jackie Tupek, Sharon Young (Kevin), Ericka Neiner (Jim), Jenny Johns (Doug Patterson), Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley (Dr. Eric Kelley), and Shana Heckel (Will); three sons, Jeffrey Williamson (Pam), Bryan Williamson (Lori), and Harry H. Johns, IV (Becca); grandchildren, Anthony and Mark Tupek, Danielle, Sydney, Corynne, and Cameron Williamson, Zack and Brooke Neiner, Sophia and Joe Bucci, Mila, Gavin, and Grayson Heckel, Ibby and Karoline Kelley; and 7 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his cousins, Dr. Marjorie Ward, the Rev. Dr. Thomas S. Ward, Rennick Steele and several nieces and nephews.

Friends are invited to call at the John R. Orlando Funeral Home, Inc., 2122 Raspberry Street, on Friday, January 6th, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday, January 7th at Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church, 2816 Elmwood Ave. from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the Funeral Service there at 11:00 a.m. The Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley and the Rev. Dave Edmunds officiating. Burial will follow in Wales Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to LECOM VNA Hospice, 2253 West Grandview Blvd., Erie, PA 16506 or to Lake Erie Presbytery ( The Funeral Service will be live-streamed on Elmwood Avenue Presbyterian Church's Facebook page. (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rev. Harry H. Johns Iii, please visit our flower store.


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