Edna Vea (England) Johnson – known as Vea, lately of Iowa City, IA, died peacefully on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, aged 92. Born in Clear Lake, Iowa on May 16, 1927, Vea was the fourth of five beautiful England daughters who started life on the family farm before moving to Cedar Rapids during the Great Depression. She graduated from Marion High School in 1945. A fine and discerning musician who sang alto beautifully -- always knowing the right harmony, she also played ukulele in the family Hawaiian string band, cello in school orchestra; and piano with solid mastery over the complex chord structures of the era’s popular tunes.
After high school she married handsome WWII navy-enlisted sweetheart, Warren Johnson, soon starting a family that grew to five children. A homemaker for many years, Vea joined the workforce when the family moved to Davenport, Iowa in 1963. She achieved an impressive GS12 grade level at Rock Island Arsenal Weapons Command before retiring in the 1990s. She was an early adopter (in the late 1960s) of healthy whole food cooking and exercise, and remained proud of this throughout life. Her constant creativity included knitting/crocheting, sewing, gourmet cooking, passionate music appreciation, and elegant personal style. Vea, the backbone of a dynamic family of strong-minded women and maverick men, loved creating a warm home and hosting countless noisy family gatherings.
Vea is preceded in death by parents Leland C. and Effie Jones England; husband of 65 years Warren Arthur Johnson (d. October 2, 2010); beloved sisters Lorene, Arlene, Rachel, and Ruth; and son Scott Johnson (d. August 26, 2004) (Linda Lundquist). She is survived by four daughters, Sandra (Bob) Tatge, Lynn (Walt) Manley, Susan (Rick) Posner, and Julia (Ron) Ryan-Holch; grandchildren Colin Smith, Graeme Smith (Esther), Lauren Pullano (John), Alex Jennetten (Nate), Andrew Tatge (fiancee Barbara Rodruiguez), Calvin Ryan; and great-grandchildren Theo and Louise Jennetten.
Our family wishes to express our deep thanks for the people who made the last years of Mom’s life a more pleasant one. Her caregiver of many years in Iowa City Sue Chase and more recently Jean Johnston. Her Sunday morning breakfast group of Ray Anderson & Rhonda Bradshaw, Connie Waltz-Zdrazil and Dr. Gene Zdrazil and Sue Chase. We also wish to express thanks to Mother’s gerontology doctor, Dr. Nicholas Butler, Keystone Memory Care Unit and Iowa City Hospice. We also wish to extend thanks to Chris Starkweather. Her end of life experiences were greatly enhanced by all these caring people.
A graveside service will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to https://iowacityhospice.org/donate/.