Darlene Rederus Johnson, age 89, passed away on May 22, 2019, in Ft Pierce, FL from complications due to dementia. A celebration of life will be held at the Wallace Funeral Home in Newton, IA where the family will greet friends from 11 AM to 1 PM on August 7, 2019. A light lunch will be served. A private committal service will take place at a later time.
Darlene was born to Tracey and Lota (Elam) Crowder in Montezuma, IA. Her family lived on a farm where she would help with the chores. Once she printed her name & address on an egg in a crate that was shipped to New Jersey where another little girl found it and wrote back. They became pen pals for over 60 years!
After graduating high school at age 17, she received her Elementary Teaching Certificate over the summer. That fall she began teaching in a one room schoolhouse for $100 a month. Three years later, she married George Rederus and moved to California where they welcomed their three children. In 1967, she moved back to Iowa with her children. At that time, she started on her Bachelor’s degree and, upon finishing, started and finished her Master’s degree in Teaching, both at Drake University. She then taught at Emerson Hough Elementary in Newton from 1970-1998.
After retiring, she did a lot of volunteering and traveling. Her calendar was always full and you needed to plan ahead to get on it, but she always made time for family and friends!
Darlene made us think and laugh, raised our spirits when we needed it, and challenged us to be better. Education was very important to her and she loved teaching and her students. All of this will stand forever and remind us of how lucky we were to have known her.
She is survived and lovingly remembered by her three children, Rod (Mari) Rederus, Robin Wilson, and Tracie (Kurt) Hauser; her grandchildren, Luke (Taylor) Rederus, Jenna Rederus (Justin Esdohr), Weston (Katrina) Wilson, Christopher Wilson, Julia (Peter) Gackenbach, Hans Hauser, and Hailie Hauser; and six great grandchildren. Darlene was preceded in death by her second husband Max Johnson.
In lieu of flowers, the family has respectfully requested that any memorial contributions be made in Darlene’s memory to the Daughters of the American Revolution Scholarship Fund at: DAR Grinnell Chapter, c\o Barb Lease, 625 Broad St Apt 211, Grinnell, IA 50112