Joann L. Johnston
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Formerly of Knoxville
Passed away on May 7, 2013 at Christian Community Home in Hudson, WI at the age of 86 years, four months, and four days. Joann, daughter of Benjamin Harrison Walker and Helen Marie Boylan, was born on January 3, 1927 in Fort Atkinson, WI. She grew up and attended school in Lancaster, WI and then went to the University of Wisconsin - Madison. She soon returned home to care for her mother and younger brother when her oldest brother, Bob, was killed in the Korean War. Joann moved to Des Moines, IA where she worked for the Des Moines Register and Tribune and also sang and acted in the Kendall Community Playhouse. Here, she met her future husband, Joseph M. Johnston. They were married on March 27, 1948 in her parents' home in Lancaster, WI. Joann and Joseph moved to Knoxville, IA, where they raised four daughters. Joann was a devoted wife and mother. She was active in P.E.O., Women's Federated Study Club, and church. After her children were grown, Joann devoted much of her time to helping young women continue their education through P.E.O., where she was the Secretary for the International Program for Continuing Education (PCE), Iowa State President, and International Chairperson for PCE. Joann moved to Hudson, WI in 2009 and lived at the Wintergreen Senior Apartments and at Pine Ridge Gardens. She continued her love of singing and church by joining the First Presbyterian Church in Hudson, where she also became a Deacon and was in the church choir. She loved music and also sang in the choir at the Christian Community Home (CCH). She is preceded in death by her husband; parents; two brothers, Robert Benjamin Walker and George Theodore Walker; one sister, Janet Marie (Walker) Schaeffer; and one son-in-law, Larry Rust. She is survived by one brother, John Phillip Walker of San Antonio, TX; four daughters: Mrs. Dave (Linda) Pierce of Venice, FL, Mrs. Jim (Susan) Hicks of Knoxville, IA, Mrs. Erchal (Debra) Springer of Marine on St. Croix, MN, and Mrs. Dennis (Nancy) Toll of Hudson, WI; nine grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and many other relatives and friends. A Memorial Service for Joann will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2013 at the First Presbyterian Church, 1901 Vine St., Hudson with a visitation one hour prior to the service at church. Burial will take place in Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville, IA, at a later date. Memorials are preferred to the Christian Community Home, 1320 Wisconsin St., Hudson, WI 54016 or the Program for Continuing Education, 3700 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312. Services are entrusted to the O'Connell Family Funeral Home of Hudson. (715) 386-3725. Online condolences may be left at www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Des Moines Register on May 9, 2013