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Kathleen “Kathy” Johnson

Kathleen A. Johnson, age 78, of Oto, Iowa, passed away on Friday, March 17, 2023, at her residence of Oto, Iowa.

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., with a visitation held one hour prior from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 24, 2023, at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ of Mapleton, Iowa. Lay Minister Shirley Nelson will officiate. The Armstrong – Van Houten Funeral Home of Mapleton, Iowa, is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online

Kathleen “Kathy” Johnson, the daughter of Raymond and Katherine (Christensen) Kruse, was born on February 6, 1945, in Coffeyville, Kansas, while her father was stationed there with the military. When she was about a one-year-old, her parents moved to the Mapleton, Iowa, area and farmed.

Kathy started elementary school in Mapleton and in 1951 the family bought their farm in Soldier Township. Kathy finished her schooling in the Soldier/Moorhead Schools, graduating with the class of 1963.

After high school, she attended Iowa Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls, Iowa, graduating in the spring of 1967. She then taught grade school in Blencoe, Iowa, for two years and in Mapleton for three years. Kathy was a strong advocate for early childhood education.

On December 26, 1968, Kathy was united in marriage to Donald Johnson in St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Mapleton. They resided on the family farm near Soldier. The couple was blessed with two sons, Doug and Jeff.

In 1978 Don and Kathy built a new home near Oto, Iowa and continued the farming operation there. Kathy was a homemaker and very active in the farming operation, helping with calving and running for parts to keep the machinery operational. She did all the bookkeeping and marketing. She was also a substitute teacher for the Anthon-Oto School District and played an important role in her sons’ education.

Kathy was an active member of the St. Peter’s United Church of Christ in Mapleton teaching Sunday school, serving as their pianist, and as a board member. Kathy was also an active member of the 76’ers Women’s Club in Castana, Iowa. After moving to Oto she joined the Oto Women’s Club. Over the past few years, she attended the United Methodist Church of Anthon which was closer to her home.

Don and Kathy enjoyed traveling when they could. She was very involved in her children and grandchildren’s lives, attending their activities and supporting them unconditionally. Kathy was fond of her llamas and loved to watch from her kitchen windows all of the birds she fed.

Those thankful for sharing in Kathy’s life include her children Doug (Stephanie) Johnson of Oto, IA and Jeff (Katrina) Johnson of Sergeant Bluff, IA; grandchildren: Teresa Johnson, Dillon Johnson, Christian Johnson, and Katelyn Johnson; siblings Norma Westerveld of Peoria, AZ, Raymond (Lynn) Kruse of Junction City, KS, John (Martha) Kruse of Kearney, NE and David (Kathy Jensen) Kruse of Mapleton, IA; brothers-in-law Dale (Cynthia) Johnson of Castana, IA and Byron Kruse of Holstein, IA; extended family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents Raymond and Katherine Kruse; her husband Donald Johnson; parents-in-law Harold and Ruby Johnson; sisters-in-law Barbara Kruse and Darlene Kruse.

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