Alton “Gene” Johnson

Gene Johnson, 82, of Waukon passed away peacefully Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon due to complications of COVID-19. Memorial services will be held Wednesday, January 12 at 1 p.m. at Martin - Grau Funeral Home in Waukon with Pastor Duane Smith officiating.

Friends may greet the family from 11 a.m. until the time of services at the funeral home Wednesday, January 12. Burial of ashes will be held later this coming summer at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lansing, with military graveside honors.

Alton Eugene Johnson was born March 10, 1939 in Lansing, the son of Hjalmer and Irene (Slindee) Johnson. He was baptized and confirmed at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Lansing and graduated from Lansing High School.

Following high school, he enlisted in the United States Army, completing his basic training at Fort Carson, CO, and served in the 9th Infantry Division, Company D, 1st Battle Group, 47th Infantry. He was stationed in Berlin, Germany and truly enjoyed his time there.

Following his discharge, Gene returned to Waukon where he was introduced to Darlene Hansmeier by his cousin, Violet. Gene and Darlene were married in 1963.

Gene worked for Wisconsin Dairies Creamery, Richard Quandahl Hardware and Montgomery Ward. It was there that he learned to install flooring and in 1970, Gene and Darlene started the Waukon Carpet Center, which was in business until 2000. He and Darlene later divorced. Gene was a member of Salem United Church of Christ, where he served on church boards for many years.

His love of the Army brought him back to re-enlist in 1979, serving in the 389th Engineering Battalion of the Army Reserve unit based out of Decorah; Gene served an additional 18 years, ultimately retiring with the rank of Sergeant 1st Class. He loved his time serving, the friends that he made, and then spent time helping with the American Legion.

In 2003, while at a dance, he was introduced to Joanne Groth. They would spend the next 18 years together, splitting time between Waukon and Mesa, AZ. Gene and Joanne enjoyed their time together, especially going to dances. Besides dancing, he also loved garage sales and was a “collector” of many things. Gene had the gift of gab and loved visiting with friends and family, always having a story to tell.

Survivors include his children, Kyle Johnson of Dorchester and Teletha (Scooter Joyner) Johnson of Waukon; four grandchildren, Autumn and Ashlyn Johnson, Austin (Ashley Erickson) Johnson and Maleaha (Kyle DeVary) Dundee, and two great-grandchildren, Triniti and Luka, all of Waukon; a brother, Donald Johnson, and a sister, Janice Johnson, both of Lansing; three nephews, Kenny Johnson, Perry (Reene) Johnson and Ricki (Marsha) Johnson; and his special friend, Joanne Groth of Des Moines.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Hjelmer and Irene; an infant son, Ronald; two brothers, Paul and Kenneth Johnson; and a sister-in-law, Marie Lou.

Honorary urnbearers will be his grandchildren.

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