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OBIT: Leroy E. Johnson

Leroy E. Johnson, 79 of Manly passed away peacefully surrounded by family Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at the MercyOne North Iowa Hospice Inpatient Unit.

Leroy E. Johnson, 79 of Manly passed away peacefully surrounded by family Wednesday, March 15, 2023 at the MercyOne North Iowa Hospice Inpatient Unit.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10:30 a.m.Tuesday March 28, 2023 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 410 N Broadway St, Manly, IA with Rev. Jake Dunne, celebrant. He will be laid to rest beside his parents in Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday March 27, 2023 at Bride Colonial Chapel, 110 East Spring Street, Manly.

Leroy Elmer Johnson was born January 3, 1944 in Mason City, the son of Elmer and Lenora Helen (Wise) Johnson. Growing up in the Manly area, with his five siblings, Leroy graduated from North Central High School. He enlisted into the United States Army in 1965 where he served in Alaska until his honorable discharge in 1967. On November 27, 1970 Leroy married Kathleen Olson in LaCrosse, WI; they had three children, Mark, Michael and Susan. The couple later divorced. Following his return from the military, Leroy worked for Wright Tree Service before beginning his service with the Iowa DOT in Hanlontown. During his 35 year tenure he made an impact on individuals from all over the state. When he wasn’t maintaining the roads, Leroy dedicated much of his life to the family farm. Working beside his father and later brother and family, Leroy devoted his life to the land.

A selfless man with a heart of gold, Leroy served his community in many fashions. For almost 35 years he served on the Manly Volunteer Fire Department, rising to Assistant Chief for some time. He was a longtime member of the Manly American Legion, and enjoyed time spent beside his fellow veterans and their families. In 2013, Leroy had the opportunity to bring a dream to reality and return to Alaska with his family. He was able to appreciate the unspoiled beauty of the land, unmarred by the scars of war.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church was a constant in Leroy’s life, where he served on the Parish Council and in various capacities over the years. His church family was just that, family. Tractor rides around North Iowa brought Leroy’s many restored tractors out to shine in the sunlight (though he wasn’t afraid to ride through the storm). Although he had a serious side, Leroy was always ready with a joke and hoped to leave you laughing. Leroy knew hard work. He didn’t stop until the job was done and was the first to lend a helping hand to others. Above all else, Leroy treasured his family, for they were the light of his life. He eagerly anticipated spending time with his children and grandchildren, even when it meant traveling to reach them. He adored his family deeply, relishing the moments they spent together. Being “Papa” was one of the most joyful experiences of his life.

Surviving are his son, Mark (Lori) Johnson of Lansing, IA and their children, Nathaniel, Daniel and Abagail; his son, Michael Johnson of St. Louis, MO and his children, Kody, Keaton and Kamryn; daughter, Susan Gonnerman and her children, Ivy, Keith and Avery; his sister, Genevieve “Genny” Grube; brother, Dennis Johnson; as well as nieces, nephews, and extended family.

Preceding him in death are his parents, maternal and paternal grandparents and siblings, Ann Aguilera, Robert Johnson, and Linda Johnson.

Bride Colonial Chapel. 110 East Spring Street, Manly, IA 50456. (641) 454-2242. ColonialChapels.com

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