Berniece Johnson, Elkader, Iowa, March 25, 2019

Berniece Irene Wilhelmina (Glawe) Johnson, 95, of Elkader passed away Monday, March 25, 2019, at the Elkader Care Center. She was the daughter of Herman and Louisa (Polkow) Glawe, born on October 16, 1923, in Boardman Township in rural Elkader, Iowa. She was born and raised in Clayton County.

She was united in marriage to Orville N.T. Johnson on September 4th, 1941. Besides raising ten children and farming with her husband, she used her love of cooking to establish two restaurants, which she owned and operated, first in Monona and then Elkader. The Cedar Rapids Gazette ranked Johnson’s Restaurant in Elkader as one of the 10 best restaurants in Eastern Iowa.  In 2004, she sold it to two of her sons, and continued to help out until she was 92 years old.

Music was also an important part of Berniece’s life. She enjoyed singing and playing her guitar. Along with her husband, they created a family band that traveled around the area playing professionally for wedding dances and special events. Berniece was a good dancer, loved to laugh and was a friend to many.

Family was her life. She was always there to nurture, encourage and support her family. She loved the annual Johnson Family Reunion, which she started in 1985, and now includes over 100 family members.

Berniece is survived by her children, Orvelda Wills of Boone, IA, Vivian (Robert) Brown of Poplar Grove, IL, Marlene (Harold) Yeoman of Aurora, IA, Janice Franck of Winthrop, IA, Dennis (Lisa) Johnson of Cherry Valley, IL, Valdean Johnson of Elkader, June (Terry) Sellick of Caledonia, IL, Marlin (Diane) Johnson of Guttenberg, IA, Judy (James) Deming of Eau Claire, WI, and Terry (Suzanne) Johnson of Elkader; 24 grandchildren; 36 great-grandchildren; 5 great-great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Irma Glawe and Bernice Kobler; many nieces, nephews and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Herman and Louisa Glawe; husband, Orville; siblings, Mabel (Ewald) Thiese, Hattie (Roy) Lembke, Amanda (Harold) Ihde, Edwin (Iola) Glawe, Clarence Glawe, Rosina (Albert) Fette, Harold Glawe, Harley Glawe; grandson, Brian Yeoman and sons-in-law, Michael Carey and Ted Franck.

Visitation: 2 to 5 PM on Sunday, March 31, 2019, at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home in Elkader

and one before the service on Monday at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader

Funeral Service: 11:30 AM on Monday, April 1, 2019 at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader with Pastor Bruce Hanson officiating

Interment: East Side Cemetery, Elkader.

Following the burial, there will be a reception at Johnson’s Reception Hall in Elkader. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established.

Leonard-Grau Funeral Home & Cremation Service is assisting the family. Online condolences may be left with


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