Nels Johnson

Nels Johnson

1931 – 2024


WASHTA - Nels Walter “Wally” Johnson, 92, of Washta, Iowa, died Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, at Heartland Care Center in Marcus, Iowa.

Funeral services took place Monday, Jan. 29, 2024 at 11 a.m. at United Methodist Church in Holstein. Visitation was held Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024 from 5-7 p.m. at the church. There was a Masonic Service at 7 p.m. The Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake was in charge of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.

 On April 23, 1931, Nels Walter, fondly known as “Wally” was born to John Albert and Hilma Julianna (Carlson) Johnson in their farmhouse in Washta, Iowa, where he lived the remainder of his life. His parents immigrated from Sweden, making Wally a first generation American who cherished his Swedish roots and embraced his American heritage. He was baptized at Augustana Lutheran Church in Sioux City. Growing up, Nels attended school at Fairview Country School, graduating from Holstein High School in 1949.

Nels was drafted into the United States Army where he served active duty from June 13, 1956 until March 12, 1958. Upon his discharge from active duty, on March 13, 1958, he was assigned to Charlie Battery in Cherokee, where he attained the rank of First Sergeant for 18 years. His final two years were spent at Headquarters in Sioux City, retiring on March 1, 1978, as an E8 Master Sergeant.

On March 3, 1973, Nels was united in marriage to Joyce Carole Riessen at the United Methodist Church in Denison. They were blessed with two children: Nancy and Steven.

Wally was a lifelong farmer where he thoroughly enjoyed feeding and raising cattle for many years. He supported conservation by being a SWCD Commissioner and Regional Director for CDI. He was a member of the United Methodist Church in Holstein, and had served as Chairman of the United Methodist Church in Washta, Iowa. Wally was also a member of the Little Sioux Masonic Lodge for over 71 years. He served as the Douglas Township Trustee/Clerk, FSA Board, Red Cross Board, and American Cancer Society. Additionally, he was a life-long Democrat, serving as Ida County chairman for many years. Any chance he got, he loved a game of cards, whether it be with family or friends. On Friday nights, Wally enjoyed visiting the casino. He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Survivors include his beloved wife of 50 years: Joyce C. Johnson of Washta, Iowa; children: Nancy Johnson of Storm Lake; Steven Johnson of Washta, Iowa; grandchildren: Elli and Braxton Jensen; brother: Harry (JoAnn) Johnson; sister-in-law: Janet Hintz; brothers-in-law: Richard Riessen; Ray Arp; John (Annie) Rennie; nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

Welcoming him into heaven are his parents: John and Hilma (Carlson) Johnson; sister: Thelma (Hap) Haenfler; siblings-in-law: Chet Hintz; Roland and Sandy Riessen; Judy (Ed Boll) Arp; Jeanine Rennie; Arlene Riessen; niece: Jeanie Schlinz; and nephew: Jim Haenfler.


Services: Jan. 29, United Methodist Church, Holstein

Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home • Storm Lake • 712-732-1911



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