October 19, 1933 - April 22, 2022
Susan F. Johnson, 88, of Okoboji, passed away on Friday, April 22, 2022, at the Accura Healthcare Center in Milford. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 20, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Spirit Lake. A Rosary will be recited at 9:15 a.m. by the Catholic Daughter’s on Friday prior to the service at the church. Burial will be held in the St. Margaret’s Cemetery in Spirit Lake. Susan Clara (Fettes) Johnson was born on October 19,1933, the first of 10 children to Helen and Gregory Fettes of Sibley, Iowa. She was named after her two grandmothers, Susan Fettes and Clara Dingel. Susan died on Friday, April 22, 2022, at the Accura HealthCare of Milford in Milford, Iowa, where she had lived since early 2019. The family is grateful to the staff of Accura HealthCare of Milford and Lakes Regional Healthcare and Hospice of Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the care they provided, especially in her final days. Being the oldest, young Susan (Sue) spent many hours babysitting at home. She often set up chairs to create a ‘classroom’ where she would teach her younger brothers and sisters using books that her Dad bought cheaply at farm sales. After graduating in 1952 from Sibley High School, Susan attended Briar Cliff College in Sioux City, Iowa, where she received her two-year teaching certificate. She then taught at Royal Community Schools in Royal, Carroll Public Schools in Carroll, and schools in Ames, Iowa. While teaching in Ames, she received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. Sue met her future husband, Dr. James R. Johnson, in Ames, Iowa, and they were married in 1966 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Peter, Minnesota. Following those years, she and Jim moved to various states where they were both involved in teaching. Over a span of 21 years, Sue taught in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Lexington, Virginia; St Francis Indian School, South Dakota; and in Valentine, Nebraska. Sue followed in the next 23 years in Volusia County, Florida, where Sue taught mainly at Spruce Creek Elementary School. She continued to be a substitute teacher in the area at various elementary and middle schools until her retirement. Sue received her master’s degree in English from Nova University, although she had previously taken all of her graduate English classes at Mankato State College in Mankato, Minnesota. During her career, she also had been an English adjunct teacher at the following colleges: Sinte Gleska-Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota Community College, and Daytona Beach Community College. Sue felt honored to assess Teachers’ National Board portfolios for four years, because it provided an additional challenge where she could utilize her teaching abilities. She participated in many organizations over the years: League of Women Voters, Daytona Beach Choral Society, Florida Reading Association Board, and the International Reading Association. She was the representative for Volusia County at the Florida Reading Association for three years. When she moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa, Sue became a member of the choral group Many Voices and was actively involved with the Spirit Lake Senior Center. She was known to bring her love of cooking and baking, providing treats on many occasions. The Catholic Church and her strong faith were present in Sue’s daily life. In Port Orange, Florida, she belonged to Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, where she sang in the Ladies Funeral Choir and was a member of the regular choir, as well. She also attended South Minister Presbyterian Church with her husband, Jim, and was also a member of the choir there. When she moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa, she joined the parish of St. Mary’s, where she was an active member of the choir and Catholic Daughters of America. Sue and Jim had only one son, Christopher Russell Johnson (1972-2015). However, they also opened their home to Chris’ friends, who stayed with them at various times: John, Shawn, Rob, Mark and Jason. Jim’s nephew Eric also lived with them while he attended and graduated from Spruce Creek High School in Florida. Sue is proceeded in death by her husband Jim, her son Chris, her parents Helen and Gregory, her sister Carol, her nephews Willy Fettes, Dean Wallrich, Bill Wallace, Jr., Peter Lakers, her niece Rachel Baland, and her great-nephew Joey Lakers. She leaves behind her siblings Donald (Ginny) Fettes, Mankato, Minnesota; Rachel (Bill) Wallace, Odebolt, Iowa; Ruth (Joseph) Lakers, Des Moines, Iowa; Rita (Jim) Pyle, Milford, Iowa; Bill (Lynda) Fettes, Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Dee Pyle, Okoboji, Iowa; Alan (Deb) Fettes, Spirit Lake, Iowa; Loretta (Joseph George) Callahan, Vancouver, Washington; and brother-in-law Tim Baland, Battle Lake, Minnesota. She will be missed by her many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great-nieces and nephews who for many years enjoyed her birthday and anniversary cards and notes, as well as an occasional $2.00 bill. Her many friends will also remember the good times they shared together. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be given to the Catholic Daughters of St. Mary Parish in Spirit Lake (1005 Hill Avenue, Spirit Lake, IA 51360) or to a charity of your choice in Sue’s honor. May her love of teaching, music, cooking, letter writing, and faith continued to be shared in the many lives of her family and friends. May she Rest in Peace.
Susan F. Johnson, 88, of Okoboji, passed away on Friday, April 22, 2022, at the Accura Healthcare Center in Milford. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday, May 20, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Spirit Lake.... View Obituary & Service Information
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