Cover photo for Elaine Johnson's Obituary
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1921 Elaine 2021

Elaine Johnson

February 22, 1921 — February 22, 2021

Elaine Winnifred Bishop Johnson passed from this life into eternity with the Lord Jesus on October 28, 2021, at Trinity Hospital, Davenport, after a final battle with the multiple problems of old age. She was 100 years old.

Elaine was born at Mercy Hospital, Davenport, on March 3, 1921, the daughter of John Joseph Bishop and Clara Josephine (Fischer) Bishop. Her Iowa roots went deep into the early 1850’s when Jeremiah Bishop and Thomas Layden arrived in Davenport and even earlier when ancestors, Theodore Fischer, arrived in St. Donatus, and Jean Pierre Francois arrived near Maquoketa. Sadly, when Elaine was only 2 years old and her younger brother, John, an infant, their mother, Clara, passed away from surgical complications leaving her husband, John, to raise the two young children.

Elaine attended Tyler, St. Paul’s, and Sacred Heart grade schools. As a youth, she studied piano and Ballet. She graduated from Immaculate Conception Academy in the class of 1938. She then attended Marycrest College and later Iowa State University, where she majored in dietetics. She lettered in Fencing and took up Equestrian riding until she sustained a back injury from a fall. The summer before graduation she met her future husband, Donald Johnson, on a blind date for the R.O.T.C. “Scabbard and Blade” dance. They soon fell in love and celebrated that love for the rest of their days.

Elaine’s formal education was placed on hold. She married Don on December 21, 1942. They began their family with the birth of Don Jr. just as Don Sr. went off to war in the Pacific in 1943. After the war, the family grew to seven children, five boys and two girls. Some major health problems occurred raising the family but, thankfully, all resolved satisfactorily. Elaine resumed her education after a 24-year hiatus and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Marycrest College in 1966 at age 45. Her youngest child, Paul, was seven years old. She then began her career as a case worker for the Wapello County Department of Social Services until she retired. She was a proud member of AAUW, American Association of University Women.

With the birth of her first grandchild, Elaine took the name Winnie, shortened from her middle name, Winnifred, in honor of her own grandmother, Winnifred Layden Bishop.

Winnie had a great sense of humor and was a nominee for great grandson, Cameron’s, “Funny Club.” She loved to play pranks, tell jokes, and play cards with lifelong friends, who have all been laid to rest.

Winnie loved the music of harpist, Greg Buchanan. Her favorite activities included swimming, flying kites, blowing bubbles, picnics, sharing thoughts and feelings, dinner parties, watching her children perform, and square dancing with her husband. She spent countless hours bird watching and banding with husband, Don, and in this pursuit, they traveled throughout the US and to three additional continents. She was a good sport with any pets her children brought home, including a beehive, dogs, cats, mice, hamsters, sea horses, fish and rabbits, just to name a few.

Winnie’s greatest joys were when her seven children all gathered together for special occasions, taking photos, sharing old memories, and creating new ones, which she did until the very end.

Elaine spent her last years under the constant loving care of children, Steve, Marilyn, Janet, and Paul who were stalwart in tending to all her increasing needs. Her faith in Christ sustained her and she eagerly anticipated her joyful reunion in Heaven with her husband, Don, who passed in 1992 as well as other family and friends.

Elaine was preceded in death by her mother, Clara (Fischer) Bishop, her father, John Joseph Bishop, her husband, Donald Gustaf Johnson, sons Robert Neil Johnson and Paul Alan Johnson, brother, John J. Bishop Jr., MD, and grandson, Brendan Michael Japp. She is survived by five children: Donald Gustaf Johnson, Jr., Erik Joseph Jansson, MD (Toni), of McKinleyville, CA, Marilyn Marie Williams (Brian), Bettendorf, IA, Stephen Michael Johnson, Ottumwa, IA, Janet Elaine Japp (John), Knoxville, TN. Eight grandchildren: Jeff, David, Lisa, Morgan, Andrew, Ursula, Natalie, and Rachel. Twenty-three great-grandchildren: Matthew, Chloe, Gina, Ryan, Keira, Marissa, Kian, Cameron, Maile, Grayson, Hank, Claire, Kora, Henry, Summer, Griffin, Eddie Gray, Maddox, William Huck, Gabriel, Travis, Jenna, and Olivia. Nephews, Brian, John, William (Amy) Bishop, J. Dimitri Doumakis, Bruce (Fran) Rowen, Roland (Cindy) Johnson, and Nieces Nancy White, Lori Lake, and Joan (Pete) Baldwin.

Private services were held and Elaine was interred on November 5, 2021 at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Davenport.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elaine Johnson, please visit our flower store.


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