Funeral services for Elsie M. Johnson, 99, were conducted by Pastor Alan Finestead on Monday, April 12, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. at the Exira Christian Church. Interment was in the Exira Cemetery. Casket bearers were Kent Paulsen, Perry Paulsen, Chuck Kline, and grandsons: Brian Johnson, Bruce Johnson, and Gary Wilkins. The remainder of the grandchildren will be Honorary casket bearers: Becky Akers, Julie Wittrock, Karla Johnson, Darla Stalder, and Traci Lapp. Kessler Funeral Home in Exira was in charge of the arrangements.
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Elsie Mabel Johnson, the daughter of Earl and Elizabeth (Libby) Hoover Griffin, was born April 22, 1910, east of Exira, and died April 9, 2010, at the Exira Care Center in Exira at the age of 99 years, 11 months and 17 days.
Elsie was baptized at the Exira Christian Church in Exira, by Pastor Robert Hennick. She attended rural schools through the seventh grade. Elsie then helped out on the family farm helping raise her siblings. She and her twin sister, Edith, also helped outside learning to milk, take care of chickens, raise pumpkins, run a four horse harrow, help shock grain, make hay, split wood, and pick corn.
On Oct. 3, 1928, Elsie was united in marriage to Roy L. (Swede) Johnson at the Christian Parsonage in Audubon. Four children were born to this union. They lived south of Exira where she helped Roy on the farm doing chores, saying that she was a "farmer's wife all my life." Water was scarce on the farm, so they would go to Troublesome Creek with pails and haul water for the livestock. They raised chickens and she would sell the chickens for some extra money.
Roy died March 10, 1975. Elsie moved to Atlantic where she was employed at the Laundromat until 1978. She then baby sat until she moved to Exira in 1990. She continued to baby sit in Exira. She also worked at the Brayton Cafe, Country Kitchen and Skelly Oil Station at the Valley. She moved to the Exira Care Center on Jan. 10, 2006. Elsie enjoyed playing cards and bingo.
Elsie was a member of the Exira Christian Church in Exira.
Preceding her in death, in addition to her husband Roy L. (Swede) Johnson were her son Raymond L. (Swede) and wife Carol Johnson; her grandson Bradley L. Johnson; her parents; her brothers and sisters: her twin sister Edith and husband Keith Martin; Myrtle and husband Van Kline; Arnold and wife Marge Griffin; Leland and wife Frances Griffin; Doris and husband Lester Paulsen; her infant sister Thelma Griffin; her sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law: Hannah and husband Frank Cummings; Imo Griffin; Bert and wife Christine Johnson; Ben and wife Gladys Johnson; Emma and husband Arthur Larsen; LaVonne and husband Donald (Bud) Conner; Laura and husband Ed Wilson; and Viola Johnson.
Survivors include her children: Larry and wife Bernie Johnson of Exira; Carolyn and husband Jim Wilkins of Pleasant Hill, Iowa; Marilyn and husband Roger Nelson of Ogallala, Neb.; her grandchildren: Becky and husband Donald Akers; Brian Johnson; Bruce and wife Lermes Johnson, all of Exira; Julie and husband Brian Wittrock of Carroll; Karla Johnson of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Gary Wilkins of West Des Moines; Darla and husband Bob Stalder of Kansas City, Mo.; Traci and husband Shane Lapp of Ogallala; 22 great-grandchildren; 4 great-great-grandchildren; brother Norman and wife Gloria Griffin of Grandin, N.D.; special friend Bea Petersen; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Apr. 16 to Apr. 23, 2010