School 07

Virginia Jean Johnson

February 7, 1929 ~ August 30, 2019 (age 90)

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Virginia Jean Johnson, 90, of Onawa, Iowa passed away, in the company of family and friends, on Friday, August 30, 2019, at Pleasant View Care Center in Whiting.

Funeral Services will be 11:00 AM Wednesday, September 4, 2019 at the Onawa United Methodist Church with Pastor Linda Boggs, officiating. Burial will follow in the Onawa Cemetery. Visitation will be held 5:00-7:00 PM Tuesday, September 3, 2019, at the church. Arrangements are under the direction of Rush Family Care Service.

Virginia Jean Johnson was born on February 7, 1929 near Hillsboro in Lee County, Iowa, to Henry “Hank” and LaVera (White) Hale. Her mother passed away while Virginia was just four. In 1936, her father married Marjory Patience Widdifield and adopted her son, Dale (Santa Monica, CA), while Marjory adopted Virginia. Her sister, Linda (deceased, Burlington, IA), was born in 1943.  

Virginia and Robert William Johnson were united in marriage on March 27, 1948 at her parent’s home in Onawa. They had three sons, William Hale and wife Laurie of San Diego, CA; Mark Robert and wife Teresa of De Pere, WI; and Timothy Lawrence and wife Meribeth of Eagan, MN. They raised their sons in rural Monona County and then in Sioux City, prior to returning to Onawa in 1970.

Virginia was a lifelong teacher who loved her students. She attended Wayne State Teacher’s College and after one year of formal education, began teaching at Castana in 1948. She taught in Ticonic, IA and then at Parker and Walkers Island, SD. From 1961-1972, she taught at Grant Elementary in Sioux City while obtaining her BA degree from Morningside College. After a two-year sabbatical to care for her mother, Marjory and father Hank, she returned to Castana as a teacher and finished her teaching career at West Monona in Onawa.

Virginia (Ginny to family and friends) was an avid reader and earned the title, “Treadmill Queen” at Burgess Cardiac Therapy where she was a regular from 1995–2016. She loved traveling, spending time with family and friends, and sharing greetings through cards and letters. Virginia was a charter member of the Monona County Historical Society, helping found and operate the Loess Hills Historical Museum. She was a member of P.E.O, Eastern Star, the Onawa Women’s Club, and an active supporter of the Onawa Library. She was an active member of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Onawa and Blencoe and joined the Onawa United Methodist Church when she could no longer attend church in Blencoe.

Survivors include grandsons, Billy, Randy, Ricky, Gary and Chris (Bill’s sons); Scott and Matthew (Mark’s sons); granddaughter, Celia (Tim’s daughter); great grandchildren, loved nieces, nephews and cousins.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert (1995) and sister Linda.

Condolences may be left online for the family at

Memorials are preferred and may be directed to the family, for later designation, according to Virginia’s wishes.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Virginia Jean Johnson, please visit our floral store.


September 3, 2019

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Onawa United Methodist Church
1103 13th Street
Onawa, Iowa 51040

Funeral Service
September 4, 2019

11:00 AM
Onawa United Methodist Church
1103 13th Street
Onawa, Iowa 51040

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