Earl Wayne Johnson was born on November 11, 1934, to John O. and Beulah Mae Johnson (Kenning), on his grandfather's farm, 3 miles east of Pomeroy. He was delivered by Dr. Weber and was paid $15 cash for his services. He had 1 sister, Ramona, who was 6 years younger, whom he loved dearly. A childhood memory was helping with laying hens - feeding and gathering eggs. He helped with milking cows by hand. He was in his 20s when they got milking machines. He remembered having Thanksgiving with his grandparents where they always had roasted goose.
He attended grade school in Palmer for the first 3 years, then Bellville country school, 3rd grade thru 8th, and graduated from Manson High School in 1952.
In 1956 he joined the army. He trained in Fort Chaffee, Arkansas to become a Speed Radio Operator and then stationed in Vicenza, Italy. He served 2 years. He served in the same platoon with Charlie Pride, would frequently tell the story of serving together. Earl made lifelong friends in the service, and traveled all over Europe, including attending the World's Fair in Brussels, Belgium. He bought his first new car in Europe, a Volkswagen Beetle, and shipped it back home after he was discharged.
On June 14, 1964, Earl married Shirley Rose Duitsman from Pomeroy, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Manson, enjoyed their honeymoon in the Wisconsin Dells. They were married for 55 years. They made their home in Lizard Township for 12 years, then moved to the Johnson farm south of Palmer. They moved into Manson in 2015. Earl farmed for nearly 60 years on the farm his grandfather established over 100 years ago. In 2014, Earl accepted the Century Farm Certification at the Iowa State Fair.
Earl and Shirley were blessed with two children, Clark (Shelly) Johnson of Farmington, MN; and Kristine (Leonidas) Checheris of Chanhassen, MN. Earl's pride and joy were his grandchildren, Kyle, Rachel and Luke Johnson, and Johnny and Michalis Checheris. He loved spending time with them and telling them old stories and silly jokes.
In the 1970’s, Earl completed the Farm Cooperative Program through Iowa Central Community College. He was active in the Palmer Amvets where he served as the Commander for many years. He was the township clerk for Belleville and a member of the church council for St Paul Lutheran and Wesley Methodist.
Earl enjoyed reading books, learning history, watching old westerns, planning family vacations, taking his kids fishing, having coffee at the elevator, eating out and spending time with family.
Our dad and grandpa will be dearly missed. We feel blessed and thankful to be part of his family and have been given the gifts of a lifetime of memories and stories to remember.
The family would like to say thank you for being here today to celebrate Earl's life. He will be greatly missed by all.
The Family of Earl Johnson
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