David Quentin "Swede" Johnson, 93, of Emerson, died Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, at the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital. Funeral services were Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, at the Emerson United Methodist Church. Burial with military honors was at the Emerson Cemetery. Masonic services were Friday, Feb. 14 at the Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel in Red Oak. Visitation with the family followed. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Emerson United Methodist Church or the Indian Creek Museum.
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Quentin was born Aug. 24, 1920, near Emerson, the son of Vernon Raymond and Nettie Mae (Graham) Johnson. A gentle giant, Quentin found joy in helping others and spent his life serving his country, his community and his family. He excelled in athletics in Emerson High School, graduating in 1939 and then started working on the milk route. Quentin married Dorothy Marie Magneson Jan. 31, 1942, in Manhattan, Kan.
He served in the United States Army during World War II in the 35th Infantry Division, 110th Medical Battalion. Quentin received five Bronze Battle Stars for his service in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Central Europe and Rhineland. He drove an ambulance in the Battle of the Bulge and also served at Saint-Lo. Instead of telling war stories, Quentin preferred to talk about the men he served alongside and the lifelong friends he made in the service.
Upon his return from the war, he operated the milk route until he sold that business in 1979. All over southwest Iowa, farmers respected him for his commitment and integrity.
Over the years, he hauled fertilizer for Emerson Farm Supply, drove trucks for Bob Hicks and volunteered for the city of Emerson, plowing snow, mowing grass and handling other duties well into his mid-80s. He also served on the Emerson City Council and was mayor for 16 years. He was a longtime member of the American Legion Post 575; lifetime member of the Red Oak VFW; member of Humanity Lodge No. 378 of Masons; and volunteer fireman for 50 years. He also served on the Mills County Landfill Board and Veterans Affairs Board, Indian Creek Museum Board, Emerson School Board, Emerson Community Club and was a member of the Emerson United Methodist Church.
Quentin cherished his family and considered himself the luckiest man because of them. He adored his "dollies," as he called his granddaughters, and faithfully attended his grandchildren's activities.
Preceding him in death were his parents; son David Johnson; sister Carol Hicks; and great-grandchild Dyamond Ott. Survivors include his wife of 72 years, Dorothy Johnson of Emerson; daughter Linda Hicks and husband Don of Stanton; son Gary Johnson and wife Charlene of Glenwood; grandchildren: Diane Ott of Ankeny; Quentin Johnson of Ankeny/Waterloo; Lynn Hicks and wife Beth of Des Moines; Lesli Hill and husband Heath of Ames; and Chad Johnson and wife Holly of Glenwood; great-grandchildren: Dallas, Elena, Olivia, Caiden, Sadey and Haley; sisters-in-law: Karen Urich and husband Gary of Bolivar, Mo.; and Millie Magneson of Red Oak; many nieces, nephews and other relatives and friends.
Published in The Opinion-Tribune on Feb. 19, 2014