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Howard G. Johnson
  • Memorial contributions may be directed to Immanuel Lutheran Church and Youth For Christ – Austin, Minnesota.

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Memories & Candles

“Howard Johnson was a memorable guy and one you want to remember. There was surely a melody and a rhyme throughout his long life. I remember most he...Read More »
1 of 7 | Posted by: Rev/ Dennis Maaske - Omaha, NE

“Margie and Kim -- how sad to hear about your dad's passing. I remember many 4H activities at your home and hearing your dad sing as he entered the...Read More »
2 of 7 | Posted by: Jaynine Warner - Wilmington, DE

“Sorry for your lost Howard & PJ were some of the sweetest people I have ever met. Howard once wrote me a poem about being his angel upstairs and now...Read More »
3 of 7 | Posted by: Anjie Myer( Margy Kern's daughter) - IA

“Kim, John, Kory and Rachel,It saddens my heart to see of the passing of your father Kim. Like we talked when I saw you recently, I will NEVER forget...Read More »
4 of 7 | Posted by: Beth Bunn - Story City, IA

“Kim and all of Howard's family, We acknowledging that a death can bring with it mixed emotions; sadness yet relief, regret yet hope, the emptiness...Read More »
5 of 7 | Posted by: Mark & Jenniifer Carr - Friend

“Sorry to hear of Your fathers passing. We knew him and became friends with him a few years before he moved from Logan. He was a great man. I even had...Read More »
6 of 7 | Posted by: Scott and Kim Thomas - Logan, IA

“I am sorry to hear about Howard's passing. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. ”
7 of 7 | Posted by: Randy Black - Edmond, OK - Family


Howard George Johnson was born July 10, 1918, to William and Sophia (Jensen) Johnson in Weston, Iowa. Over the years Howard worked in farming, bulldozing, manufacturing, and tire refurbishing. He will be remembered for his singing, poetry, sense of humor and love of Jesus Christ. Howard met Phyllis Plath through singing, and he made her his wife on June 13, 1959, at the Zion Lutheran Church in Magnolia, Iowa. They lived for many years in Logan, Iowa, before moving in 2003 to Story City, Iowa to be closer to their grandchildren. Howard has lived in the Des Moines area since 2008.

Howard loved God's word and shared his faith through his music and poetry. He actively participated in the church choir through the decades and sang for many special events. Into his late nineties, he continued to enjoy singing in the nursing home where he resided. Howard loved to write poetry which he regularly shared with family and friends. He was an inspiration to many, loving others with grace from the heart.

Howard died on June 30, 2017, at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, Iowa at the age of 98 years, 11 months, and 20 days.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Phyllis; sisters, Vera Johnson, Laverne Morrow, Florence Severance, Alta Guill; and brother Roy Johnson. He is survived by his two daughters, Margie (John) Custis of Des Moines, Iowa and Kim (John) Engelstad of Austin, Minnesota; four grandchildren, Daniel and William Custis of Des Moines, Iowa and Kory and Rachel Engelstad of Austin, Minnesota; one brother and sister-in-law, Marvin and Ann Johnson of Council Bluffs, Iowa; sister-in-law, Connie Edlund of Bellevue, Nebraska; and many other relatives and friends.