Esther E. Johnson


Esther E. Johnson, 90, of Clear Lake, died Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013 at the Muse Norris Hospice Inpatient Unit in Mason City, surrounded by her loving family.

     A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 at the First Congregational Church, 205 W. 10th Ave. N., Clear Lake, with the Rev. Brad Thornton officiating.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to Esther’s service on Wednesday.  Inurnment will be Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013 in the Johnson family plot in the Highland Cemetery, in Eddyville, Iowa.

     Should friends desire, memorials may be left in Esther’s name in care of Hospice of North Iowa.

  Esther Eileen VanLoon was born on July 13, 1924 in Eddyville, the daughter of David and Helen (TenHagen) VanLoon.  She attended and graduated from Eddyville High School in 1941 with a normal teaching certificate.  She began her teaching career in country schools near Monroe and Mahaska during World War II.

     On Jan. 12, 1946 Esther was united in marriage to Wayne Johnson in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and moved to Clear Lake the following year where they lived the rest of their lives.  Wayne preceded Esther in death on April 26, 2006.

     Esther was a member of the First Congregational Church in Clear Lake.  She was an active Sunday school teacher, served as the Sunday school superintendent for seven years, as well as President of the Women’s Fellowship.  She sang in the church choir for 47 years and served on the church board, the altar guild, church flower committee, women’s fellowship, holiday church bazaar, and on the church library board for several years.

     She was a member of P.E.O. chapter EA, Crescent Club, Friendly Garden Club, and Central Gardens Public Garden of Clear Lake.  She served on the Girl Scout Council and was a Girl Scout and Cub Scout leader, working with both her children to receive their badges.

     Although Esther never returned to teaching, she often helped in the school classroom.  She worked for the Clear Lake Public Library as a library clerk for 35 years before her retirement at the age of 70. 

     Her greatest joy, aside from her family, was singing in the church choir (rarely missing a Sunday service), working at the library, and tending to her flower garden.  

     Those grateful in sharing in her life are her children, Eileen Johnson, St. Paul, Minn., and Steven (Marilyn) Johnson, Clear Lake; Her grandchildren, Abbie (Jason) Smith, Mesa, Ariz., and Gregory Johnson, Peosta, Iowa; her great-grandchildren, Mia and Gabe Smith, and Lauren Johnson; her siblings, Theo (Connie) VanLoon, Dorothy (Fred) Celsy, and Joy (Don) Vanamerongen.

     She is preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Wayne.

     Ward Van Slyke Colonial Chapel, Clear Lake, was in charge of arrangements. 

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