Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

May 10, 2013

Centenarians at Park Lane Village share their stories

(Continued)

Traveling was something of which Johnson did a great deal. Born in Lee County, Johnson was a tour director for Farm Bureau tours.

“Everybody loved them,” Johnson said. One couple said that if it was not for her, they would not have gone anywhere. She even took a trip to Hawaii, “which they all loved.”

Johnson spent several years as a tour guide and met her husband while he was attending college in Ames. He would come back to visit her every weekend. They were married in the Little Brown Church in Nashua.

“He was a wonderful man,” she said. “Couldn’t have been any better.”

The two enjoyed roller skating and fishing. Oftentimes, they would grill their catch for dinner that evening. They lived on a farm, six miles south of Knoxville, which her son-in-law still farms.

“(There is) nothing better than living on a farm,” Johnson said. These days, she spends her time playing bingo, and expressing her appreciation for the people of Park Lane Village.

“There’s no place better than this place, if you have to leave your home,” Johnson said. She still gets back to the farm to visit.

There, in addition to visiting family, she enjoys visiting her son-in-law’s dog, Spanky. Johnson said the dog is smart and can understand everything they say, especially “vet” and “shots.” Spanky usually sits beside her on the deck, overlooking the lake that her husband built for them years ago.

Johnson raised four girls and a boy. Her daughter and oldest son still visit regularly. He also arranged for her to have her picture taken with the governor.

“(It’s) nice to grow old and be respected,” Johnson said. “We should be.” She also likes it when people mistake her for being 75.

“I grew up having a good time and I’m still having a good time,” Johnson said.

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