Blondina Johns


Blondina Mae Johns, 89, of Oskaloosa and formerly of Keokuk and Sioux City, died Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at the MHP Serenity Hospice House in Oskaloosa. She was born July 16, 1933, in Decatur, Nebraska, the daughter of Earl and Liberty Halstead Bowman. Being the oldest of fourteen children her nurturing spirit developed quickly as she cared for her younger siblings. She also helped her mother with laundry and cleaning for various families in Decatur. She graduated from Decatur High School with the class of 1950. Following graduation, she worked in the factory at Zenith and later as a waitress in the café at the Truck Haven in Sioux City. In addition to working as a waitress she provided laundry service for the dog racing track in Sioux City. On June 28, 1953, she was united in marriage to Raymond Joseph Johns at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Sioux City. To this union six children were born, Raymond Paul, Linda, Byron, Russel, Becky, and Nancy. In addition to caring for her children and home, Dina worked outside the home at Interbake Foods, Sheaffer Pen, as a nanny for a family in Keokuk, in the cafeteria of the hospital, and last at Wal-Mart in Keokuk. She retired from Wal-Mart in 2001. On January 8, 2013, Raymond died after 59 years of marriage. In 2021, Dina moved to Oskaloosa to be closer to her grandchildren. Blondina was a member of the All-Saints Catholic Church in Keokuk and had been a member of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Sioux City. She donated selflessly of her time, resources, and baking talents to many church functions. She volunteered for many years in the nurse’s office at the Keokuk Community Schools. She enjoyed fishing, crocheting, reading, putting puzzles together, coloring, and trips to the casino. She was always up for a game of BINGO. She was always very proud of her big garden and made the most of her produce by canning a surplus to get the family through the winter. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, sister, and friend.

She is survived by her five children, Linda (Tom) Graham of Springfield, Oregon, Byron (Lori) Johns of Gower, Missouri, Russel Johns of Keokuk, Becky Mortimer (Tom Grogan) of Fort Madison, and Nancy (Trey) Laymon; six grandchildren, Bradley, Katherine, Colleen, Corrina, Azylia, and Christopher; two great grandchildren, Eli, and Jackson (arriving soon); her siblings, Earl Lee (Judy) Bowman, Norma Bowman, Jim (Marilyn) Bowman, Joyce (Butch) Olsen, Gary (Kay) Bowman, Danny Bowman, Sandy (Mike) Lyons, Debbie (Tim) Svoboda, and Kathy (Marc) Schwiesow; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

In addition to her husband, Raymond; Dina was preceded in death by her parents; a son, Raymond Paul Johns; and five siblings, Mary Mathieson, Harold Bowman, Bev Wheeler, and Kenneth Bowman, and a sibling in infancy.

Visitation will begin Tuesday, February 28, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. in the Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel (3220 Stone Park Blvd) in Sioux City. The family will be present from 5-7 Tuesday evening to greet friends and relatives. A Christian Vigil Service will be held on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, March 2, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. in the All-Saints Catholic Church in Keokuk, Iowa with Reverend David Brownfield officiating. The burial will be in the Oakland Cemetery in Keokuk. The Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.

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