Howard George Johnson, 98, passed away on Friday, June 30, 2017, at Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, Iowa. He was born July 10, 1918, to William and Sophia (Jensen) Johnson in Weston, Iowa. Over the years Howard worked in farming, bulldozing, manufacturing and tire refurbishing. He will be remembered for his singing, poetry, sense of humor and love of Jesus Christ. Howard met Phyllis Plath through singing, and he made her his wife on June 13, 1959, at Zion Lutheran Church in Magnolia. They lived for many years in Logan, before moving in 2003 to Story City to be closer to their grandchildren. Howard has lived in the Des Moines area since 2008.


Howard loved God’s word and shared his faith through his music and poetry. He actively participated in the church choir through the decades at his church and sang for many special events. Into his late nineties, he continued to enjoy singing in the nursing home where he resided. Howard loved to write poetry which he regularly shared with family and friends. He was an inspiration to many, loving others with grace from the heart.


Howard is survived by his two daughters Margie (John) Custis of Des Moines, and Kim (John) Engelstad of Austin, Minn.; four grandchildren, Daniel and William Custis of Des Moines, and Kory and Rachel Engelstad of Austin, Minn.; one brother and sister-in-law, Marvin and Ann Johnson of Council Bluffs; sister-in-law, Connie Edlund of Bellevue, Neb.; and many other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his wife Phyllis, his parents, sisters Vera Johnson, Laverne Morrow, Florence Severance, Alta Guill and brother Roy Johnson.


Memorial contributions may be directed to Immanuel Lutheran Church in Logan, Iowa, and Youth For Christ in Austin, Minn.