Maurene A. (Smith) Johnson
Maurene A. Johnson, of Urbandale, formerly of Belmond, passed away Sunday June 29, 2014 at Methodist Hospital in Des Moines.
Maurene Anna (Smith) Johnson, and her twin sister, Arlene, were born as daughters of Clarence and Vera (Harris) Smith on December 20, 1923. The twins and seven other siblings lived on a farm two miles west and three miles north of Paullina, Iowa. Childhood years were spent near Paullina where she was active in 4-H and won the grand champion angus calf at the O’Brien County Fair in 1940. Upon graduation from Paullina High School she and her twin sister enrolled at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa. Maurene earned a degree in elementary education. Her first full-time job was teaching first and second graders in Larrabee and then kindergarten at Primghar, Iowa. While teaching, she met Ralph Lavern Johnson and that acquaintance gradually led to marriage on June 2, 1948.
They lived on a farm near Larrabee for ten years during which they had two sons, Jay and Eugene. They also farmed for a few years near Aurelia, Iowa before moving to Ground Mound and DeWitt, Iowa, and then to Chillicothe, Missouri. In Missouri, Maurene focused on raising three children including a daughter, Julie Sue, who was born with severe disabilities. Ralph and Maurene moved again, this time to Sycamore, Illinois. After placing their daughter at Bethphage, a Lutheran institution providing care of severely disabled children, Maurene took a job with Anaconda Wire and Cable Company to help the family make ends meet.
Ralph and Maurene settled down in Belmond, Iowa where they lived for over 40 years. Maurene worked at Central Soya where she knew the corn and soybean markets very well. Maurene was involved with the Belmond Progress Club, PEO, and was active as a member of the Belmond United Methodist Church. Maurene enjoyed playing bridge and entertaining friends and family in their home. She also was an avid quilter and made a special quilt for each of her children and grandchildren. She kept daily diaries for sixty-some years and was a prolific source of weather facts and family information.
Health limitations required Maurene to move to the Des Moines area to be closer to her doctors and two sons for the last several years. She enjoyed keeping in touch with her siblings and relatives, especially her twin sister, via phone or email on a regular basis. She spent the last two years at a skilled-nursing facility in Grimes, Iowa after falling and breaking a hip, and in the same year, breaking a leg. Her determination allowed her to walk with the aid of a walker in time to join her family in celebrating her 90th birthday.
Maurene is survived by her son, Jay (Marilyn) Johnson of Urbandale, Iowa; Eugene (Jane) Johnson transitioning to Temple, Texas from Le Mars, Iowa; grandchildren Eric (Jennifer) Johnson of Des Moines; Andrew (Amy) Johnson of Johnston, Iowa; Jessica (James) Lindsey of Urbandale; Jonathan (Angela) Johnson of Huntington, West Virginia; Rebecca Johnson of Des Moines; and five great-grandchildren, Ella and Lily Johnson; Jesse, Maximus, and Anna Miette Lindsey.
She was preceded in death by her daughter, Julie Sue, her parents; brothers Clarence Smith, Jr. and Russell Smith, and sisters Ruth Latulip, Ellen Rohwer, and her twin sister Arlene Lamont.