Robert Johann

robert johann
Robert Johann, 92 of Elma, Iowa passed away from natural causes on July 29, 2020 while in care with Colonial Manor and St. Croix Hospice, Elma Iowa. Private graveside services will be held at the Union Cemetery in Alta Vista, IA on August 10, 2020. The family requests no flowers but donations may be made to Colonial Manor in Elma, Iowa or St. Croix Hospice. Robert “Bob” Johann, son of the late Peter and Malinda (Joachim) Johann, Alta Vista, Iowa was born September 7, 1927 on a farm outside of Alta Vista Iowa. Bob attended Alta Vista public schools and graduated high school in 1945. He was a member of the Zion Lutheran Church, Alta Vista, Iowa and Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After high school Bob left for the U.S. Navy on September 4, 1945 and served until August 18, 1948 with an honorable discharge. After his service, he enrolled using the G.I. Bill with Upper Iowa University, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1951. He continued his education at The University of Iowa, graduating with a Masters of Arts, in 1959. Bob received his license from the State of Iowa Board of Public Instruction and was a teacher, administrator, baseball and basketball coach and retired substitute teacher. His teaching career began in Mitchell, Iowa. He also taught Junior and Senior High Schools in Elma, Alburnett and Sigourney. He was the Department Chair of the Business Department for Taft Junior High when he retired from full-time teaching in 1983. His teaching career spanned 32 years. He served as commander of the V.F.W. # 4069, named after his late brother Paul Johann, who was killed on the attack on Pearl Harbor on the U.S.S. Arizona. He is a life-long member of the National Association of Atomic Veterans for serving in the Navy on a mission “Operation Crossroads, Bikini Atoll” in the Marshall Islands, the World War II Memorial Society, and was named 2016 Iowa Veteran Supporter of the Year. He was a life member of the University of Iowa, Circle of Gold and fraternity Phi Delta Kappa. We are very proud of our Dad’s many accomplishments and his support and his love for all of his children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. After he retired from the Cedar Rapids school district Dad and Mom retired to an acreage south of Alta Vista, Iowa. They loved having us kids and their grandkids, Jason and Kristin, visit the acreage. Dad always an avid traveler, along with Isabel went to see their kids, traveling all over the United States, and Canada, Europe, Germany and Hawaii together. They loved going to all the U of I football games and for many years as season ticket holders did not miss one game. They were “snow-birds” and lived the Iowa winters in Florida and later Texas. After Isabel passed, Dad traveled to (more than) several countries and continued to have a huge appetite for travel. Dad and Mom also loved to golf and were members of the Elma Country Club. After Isabel’s passing in 1997, he continued to travel on big and small trips, including the winters in Texas with his companion, Dee Felder. Survivors include his sister, Norma (Johann) Groth, Elma, Iowa, sister-in-law, Lucille Johann, Alta Vista, Iowa. Children: Shirley (Johann) and Paul Jacobs, North Liberty, Iowa; Alan Johann, St. Charles, Missouri; Karen (Johann) and Scott Maupin, Olathe, Kansas. Grandchildren: Kristin (Jacobs) and Adam Ferrell, Savage, Minnesota; Jason (Johann) Phelps and Stacie (Jermenc) Phelps, Juliana Maupin, Olathe, Kansas. He is also survived by nine great grandchildren: Emma and Dylan Ferrell, Makenzie, Jackson, Kennadi, and Katherine Phelps, Carson, MaKenna and Maelie Jermenc, a host of nieces and nephews and friends all over the country. Bob loved his family and easily made friends where ever he traveled. Bob is proceeded in death by his loving wife and mother to his children, Isabel (Bueckman) Johann. Bob and Isabel married at Maple Leaf Lutheran Church on August 30, 1950. He is also proceeded in death by his brothers Norbert Johann and Paul Johann, sisters-in-law Mabel Reis and Vera Bueckman; brothers-in-law Sam Reis, Clarence Bueckman and Eldon Groth. He had a special friend and travel companion, Dee Felder of Alta Vista, Iowa for many years.

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Memories Timeline


  1. I fondly remember visiting with Bob and Isabel when I was visiting my parents Andy and Sally Grober. That continued after your Mom’s passing; although I wasn’t around often, it was always a pleasure to see Bob and talk to him. Treasure your memories and may they comfort you in the days ahead. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

  2. I played softball for Bob in Alta Vista. He was a great coach. He was such a nice person. He will be missed.

  3. Our sympathies to Bob’s family. We enjoyed our many visits through the years with both your mom and dad. They were good people and cared about the Alta Vista community. Great conversations!! It was a pleasure working with them when they did the ads for the Alta Vista History Book for our centennial, as Tom was on the main committee and I was in charge and chairman of the History Book. I remember your dad working so hard with getting lots of paid ads to help with the cost of the book. He had such excitement every time he got an ad. It was so appreciated. Had fun playing a few games of euchre with him uptown through the latter years before going to Colonial Manor. Tom and I welcomed your dad and Leonard Recker back home at the Mason City airport from the Honor Flight they took and he was so surprised to see us there. It meant a lot to him. Tom plays Santa at the Colonial Manor each year and have enjoyed cheering up Bob during those holiday Santa moments. Those are just a few of our memories we will cherish. RIP Bob.

  4. Memory eternal for Uncle Bob and sincere condolences to all the Johann family. I have many fond memories of Uncle Bob and aunt Isabel during holiday times with my grandparents Sam and Mabel Reis in Saratoga. I’ll always remember Bob for his mischievous smile and good humor. And of course I’m also reminded of aunt Isabel’s charming laugh. I’ll miss you Bob. Give aunt Isabel, Sam and Mabel a big hug from me. -Jameel Abraham

  5. Shirley, Alan, and Karen. I am sorry to hear of your loss, but a part of me thinks that the special bond is back in play in heaven with those four…. Isabel, Carl, Dorothy, and now Bob. Your mother babysat me as a 5 year old and she said I should behave better. Your dad pulled me aside and told me I could do better in 7th grade social studies. They were both right. Good times. Jameel is right about your mother’s charming laugh and your dad just seemed to light up the room with his energy. I will now turn the page on this chapter of my life of the people… family … who have made a significant impression on me in my formidable years. Not to forget, but to hold on to. We grew up in the 60’s and even though we might not directly point to a Johann/Balvanz experience, we nevertheless instinctively raise our own children and grandchildren with those memorable experiences and good values. God bless you, your families, and your parents.

  6. Thank you Jim. They were definitely the fearsome foursome in laughs, vacations and friendships! I loved Dorothy and Carl. Thank you for your tribute. Karen

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