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Mary J. Johnson


Mary J. Johnson, 79, of Independence, Iowa, died peacefully Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, at her home in Independence, after a recent battle with cancer.
Mary was born May 9, 1940, on her family farm in rural Winthrop, Iowa, the daughter of Maurice and Corrine (Miller) Sherren. She was a 1957 graduate of Winthrop High School. She went on to work as a nursing aide at the Willard Hospital in Manchester until 1959. On Jan. 1, 1959, she married Darwin D. Johnson at the Congregational Church in Winthrop. They made their home on her family farm in Winthrop. In 1962, they moved to Independence and started Johnson Appliance, where for many years they sold and repaired appliances until their retirement in 2014. Mary managed the store's bookkeeping while raising children. They purchased the family farm in 1977, where Mary and Darwin farmed 160 acres, maintained a large garden and canned fruits and vegetables, and mowed acres of lawn up until this year. Mary was a member of the St. James Episcopal Church in Independence for many years. She was an active member and could always be found playing the organ for Sunday services or helping with the church's weekly Friday food events.
From her early years in life, Mary had learned the importance of caring for others. She spent years of her life caring for various family members that had fallen ill. She always put the needs of others first.
Mary is survived by her husband of 61 years, Darwin Johnson of Independence; her son, Mark Johnson of Chicago; a son-in-law, Tony Rouse of Independence; sister-in-law, Dr. Anne Sherren, Lombard, Ill.; brother-in-law, Burdette (Ellyn) Johnson of Shell Rock, Iowa; and brother-in-law, Rick (Shelly) Johnson of Independence.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Maurice and Corrine Sherren; her daughter, Dawn Rouse, on July 17, 2017; her brother, William Sherren (2015); and brother-in-law, Glenn Johnson (2020).
Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Reiff Family Center in Independence with the Rev. Sean Burke and the Rev. Sue Ann Raymond officiating. Burial will be in the Wilson Cemetery. Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
To leave an online condolence please go to www.reifffamilycenter.com under obituaries.
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