Elvin Leroy Johnson

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Elvin Lerow Johnson of Strawberry Point, formerly of Garnavillo, Iowa, died at his home after a sudden illness on Saturday morning, December 19, 2015, his 84th birthday.  

Friends and relatives are invited to attend any of the following on Saturday, December 26:  graveside service at 10:15 a.m. at the Garnavillo Community Cemetery; funeral service at 11 a.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Garnavillo; visitation with the family from 1–3 p.m. at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Garnavillo.

Elvin was born on December 19, 1931, in Milo Township, Delaware County, Iowa, the son of Norton and Lela (Hankins) Johnson.  Elvin attended Portable Country School and graduated from Delhi High School in 1950.  

He met Eunice Kregel of Garnavillo while she taught music in the Delhi schools in 1952-1953, and they were married at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Garnavillo, Iowa, on May 30, 1953.  Elvin served in the army for two years after their marriage, working primarily as a cook and attaining the rank of corporal, and while he completed his service, Elvin and Eunice lived in southwest Missouri where they made several lifelong friends.  After his military service ended in 1955, Elvin and Eunice moved to the farm where she had been born and raised near Garnavillo, and Elvin began to farm with Eunice’s father, Elmer Kregel.  Eventually he took over the farming completely, and he and Eunice raised five children there:  Karl, Philip, Andrew, Rozelle, and Ken.  

In the 1970s and 1980s he did semi trucking occasionally for John Hoth’s livestock yard and for Double LL, both of Garnavillo, and he also owned and operated a small Mitey Mac dealership.  

Throughout the years Elvin was interested in community affairs and contributed in a number of ways.  At various times he was an active member of the Lion’s Club and the American Legion, and he served as a township trustee as well as on the town cemetery board.  Elvin was particularly proud of his years on the Garnavillo school board, about 15 years altogether, many of which he served as president of the board.  

He and Eunice both enjoyed raising Welsh Corgis and, in the 1960s and 1970s, showing them at dog shows.  They also enjoyed taking many trips together over the years.  On his own, he golfed regularly for several decades, and in earlier years he fished and hunted.  For years he was an early-morning fixture in the group that gathered at Thoma’s Dairy Bar for coffee, and he enjoyed keeping up with the local news.  


In 2013 he and Eunice moved from their farm into the Swales Assisted Living Center in Strawberry Point, and on June 7th of this year Eunice preceded him in death.  He missed her deeply these past six months, and now his children and other relatives will miss him deeply as well.  

Elvin is survived by his five children: Karl (Janet) Johnson of rural St. Olaf, Andrew (Pat) Johnson of rural Garnavillo, Philip (Corby) Johnson of Hampton, Rozelle Howard of Garnavillo, and Ken Johnson of Doraville, Georgia.  He is also survived by eleven grandchildren (Jason, Jill, Adam, Rebecca, Brad, Kent, Tyson, Shivhan, Amy, Theo, and Ben) and nine great-grandchildren.  In addition to his wife, Elvin was preceded in death by his parents, his grandson, Bo Howard, and his brothers, Merlin and Duane.  

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred and may be sent to the Strawberry Point Lutheran Home in Strawberry Point, Iowa, or to an organization of the donor’s choice.

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