Kenneth H. Johnson of Newtown, a retired teacher at Westport’s Staples High School, died March 19. He was 93.
Kenneth Johnson: Staples teacher. Contributed photo
He was born on Feb. 28, 1926, in Bridgeport, son of the late Lawrence and Tina Johnson from Stratford.
He graduated from Stratford High School in 1944 and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1944 to 1946 as a B17 airman.
Ken received a B.S. and M.S. from the University of Bridgeport and his sixth-year teaching certificate from the University of Connecticut.
A lifelong educator, he taught biology and physics at Hanover High School in Hanover, New Hampshire and Staples High School in Westport; and taught eighth grade science at Nathan Hale Middle School in Norwalk.
He also served as director of education in the University of Bridgeport School of Nursing for several years.
At Staples High School, he was instrumental in the design of the campus-style school that opened on North Avenue in 1958.
He also lectured nationally on the use of media in instruction and its use to address individual learning differences, a concept now ubiquitous in education.
In 1961, he purchased a historic 1770s farmhouse in Sandy Hook and fully restored the rundown home plus four barns and an outhouse. He enjoyed using the property to host a large garden, Bantam chickens, and donkeys. He also raised Golden pheasants.
In 1966, he married Ruby Kelley and raised their two children in the Sandy Hook home with ponies, a dog, and two cats added. The family also enjoyed a cottage in Acton, Maine, throughout the year.
Ken loved early American antiques, cars, and especially old tractors, and was known for consuming all available space with his various collections.
Ken and Ruby traveled extensively, reaching Europe, Africa, and Asia, and were active in the community. Ken served as president of the Band Parents Association in the 1980s and more recently as a board member of the Children’s Adventure Center.
He was preceded in death by his wife Ruby K. Johnson. He is survived by daughter Kelley T. Johnson of Sandy Hook; daughter Joan D. Johnson, her husband Edwin Kuo, and grandson of Pleasantville, New York.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Kenneth & Ruby Johnson Memorial Scholarship at the Newtown Scholarship Association, P.O. Box 302, Newtown, CT 06470.
The family will receive friends and family on Friday, March 29 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main St., Newtown. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 31 at 3 p.m. at the Newtown Meeting House, 31 Main Street, Newtown,.