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Ron Johnson

Des Moines


Ron L. Johnson, 79, of Des Moines passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2020, surrounded by family. A celebration of life will be held outside at Glendale Cemetery, 1 p.m., Monday, Aug. 3. Everyone is welcome. Masks are encouraged. Online condolences and a livestream of the service will be available at

Ron was born July 25, 1941, in Des Moines, to Carl and Edith Johnson. Ron married Bonnie Stites July 29, 1961, in Des Moines.

He graduated from Urbandale High School in 1959. After high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves and was active duty for three years and inactive for two years. Ron played basketball at Southwestern Community College and then got his degree at Drake University in 1965. He went on to get his Master’s Degree in 1970 at Northeast Missouri State University.

Ron spent 37 years in education as a teacher and coach at Exira High School as well as Creston High School. Teaching and coaching were his passions, and he impacted many lives over the years. He also was named Junior High District Athletic Director of the Year in 2001. Ron also spent many years refereeing basketball and volleyball. His greatest passion was spending time with family and friends.

The family enjoyed countless hours in the gym. Time with the grandkids and fishing ponds were at the top of his list, and one of his greatest life’s passions was to teach every PE student to juggle.

He is survived by his wife Bonnie; children: Janelle (Kasey) Henley, Jill (Mark) Rice, Justin (Treana) Johnson and Jamie (Brandi) Johnson; grandchildren: Madison and Kaden Henley, Kylie (Curtis) Schultz, Luke and Cassie Johnson, Berkley and Jessi Johnson; great-grandchild Jakson Schultz; brother, Richard Johnson.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Ozzie, Walter, Chuck, Cork, Roy, Glenn and Lawrence; and sister Erma Burt.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to Avalon Hospice and the angels on earth who cared for Ron. 

Memorials for Ron will go to a scholarship for a Creston graduate and student athlete attending Southwestern Community College. Contributions can be made to the SWCC Education Foundation in Ron’s honor.

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