In Memory of

Deborah A. Johnson

May 13, 1952 - November 20, 2020
From: Cherokee, IA

Deborah Ann Johnson, the daughter of Russell and Mary (Filos) Benda, was born May 13, 1952, in Red Oak, IA. Her childhood years were spent in Red Oak where she and the Benda family were actively engaged in the community, including athletic activities of all kinds and social gatherings with many family friends. Childhood summers were enjoyed in Okoboji, IA. She graduated from Red Oak High School in 1970. Following high school graduation, Deb attended Creighton Nursing School in Omaha, NE, and earned her degree in nursing as a Registered Nurse. 

After nursing school, Deb began practicing as a nurse in Iowa City, IA, and then San Francisco, CA. Early in her career, she was also able to enjoy traveling and backpacking Europe. Several years later, Deb moved to Minneapolis, MN. It is here that she met her future husband Peter “Pete” Christian Johnson, where their passion for tennis sparked their relationship. They were united in marriage on August 25, 1985, in Red Oak, IA. In 1991, they moved to Cherokee, IA, with their two sons. She continued her nursing career in Cherokee at the Cherokee Regional Medical Center Specialty Clinic and Cardiac Rehab departments until her recent retirement in 2019.

Deb’s passions included gardening and caring for her home and others. She loved attending social gatherings and traveling. Most of all, she loved conversation and time spent with family, friends, and neighbors.

On Friday, November 20, 2020, Deb passed away unexpectedly at her home in Cherokee. She was preceded in death by her husband, Pete Johnson, and her parents, Russell and Mary Benda.

She will lovingly be remembered by her two boys, Christopher Johnson of Omaha, NE, and Mark Johnson of Ankeny, IA; two brothers, Russell “Benji” (Martha) Benda of Des Moines, IA, and Mark (Marcia) Benda of Red Oak, IA; three sisters, Rebecca Benda of Sausalito, CA, Martha Pfeiffer of Red Oak, IA, and Margaret Benda of Red Oak, IA; in addition to several nieces, nephews, and her many cherished friends.

Tribute Video
SERVICES
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 25, 2020, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee, Iowa. Face masks and social distancing will be required inside the church. Seating will also be very limited due to social distancing.
OFFICIATING
Father Mark Stoll
VISITATION
Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Tuesday night at the Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee. Face masks and social distancing will be required. Due to the COVID restrictions, only 15 people will be allowed inside the funeral home at a time. We appreciate your understanding during these difficult times.
INTERMENT
Evergreen Cemetery
Red Oak, Iowa

Condolences

Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 4:16 PM
“My life is full of memories of growing up with Bobsy & the Benda family. So much laughter with Bobs and our girlfriends. Bobsy always found a way to help us navigate life as we got older with love, laughter & her caring soul. Know that when I think of her it will be with a big smile and tears. My life was so blessed to have been Bobsy's friend. Prayers of peace for Chris, Mark and the Benda family. ”
- Linda Barnes LaRue
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 1:53 PM
“Chris and Mark, Sending you and your mom's entire family our deepest sympathy. This is an especially difficult time to lose someone so special. Deb will always be remembered as one of the most positive and kind people we've known. And fun! So many memories of hours spent at the Country Club pool when all of you kids were young. She will be missed by so many.”
- Linda and Duane Christensen
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 1:53 PM
“Bobsy, you have left a hole in my heart. Your fun loving spirit, compassion and sincerity will be missed. We had some epic parties at my parents’ house, the Benda house and many other RO establishments. The “sweeps.” Swimming at the Club—after hours. Tubing the river. I wish I had told you that you have for all these years been one of the really special people in my life. Whenever coming back to RO I looked forward to your smile. And that stoic look on your face when I told you of something outrageous done by one of the gang. I called last summer to say how great it was that day to hear “hey Snitch” and get chased down by your son Mark in Ankeny. I told you what a great young man he is. You went on about how proud you were of both of your young men and what they were doing. Chris and Mark, as you know all to well, sometimes life sucks. It just does. Your Mom was good at helping people move forward at those times. Keep in mind all the good times with her and her love for you and move forward like she did.”
- Rich Johnson
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“Chris,
I am SO sorry for the loss of your Mom! Our thoughts and prayers are with you, and the rest of your family. Take care and may God bless you all as you go through this difficult time.
Sincerely,
Your team at FNBO Corporate Audit Services”
- Doug Klahn
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“The WHS Class of 2008 sends their deepest regards to Chris, Mark and their entire family. Mark, your mom was the greatest. Growing up together we get to know each other parents through various events and activities. And we have nothing but sweet and joyful memories of Deb. She always had a gentle smile on her face and took the time to talk. Even now years after graduation she would still take the time to ask about our lives any time she saw us. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. Love, The Class of 2008”
- Cherokee Class of 2008
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“They don’t come any finer than Bobsy...She was like a breath of fresh air with her beautiful smile and pure joy in seeing others and embracing them with such interest and love...She will be missed...Sending love to the Bendas and Johnson’s!!”
- Barb Houghton Kohl
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“Sending my Sincere Condolences to the family. We were neighbors growing up, and members of the class of '70. She will be fondly remembered. Marcia Gillespie”
- Marcia Gillespie
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“What a fantastic friend! Bobsy was soul of our class, celebrating the achievements of other, and supporting those who needed a smile. She always made me laugh and I will miss her great personality.
My sympathy and heart goes out to all her family and friends. ”
- Betty Finley Johnston
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“I worked with Deb on the Cherokee School Board for 6 years. She was a a really nice person and I enjoyed working with her. I enjoyed her smile, intellect, sense of humor, and her ability to keep things in perspective. She was truly a classy lady. Joyce remembers her beautiful smile and positive attitude. Deb always asked about our family, showing her caring nature. She will be deeply missed by our community.”
- Larry and Joyce Goodrich
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“Chris and Mark, Caring thoughts to you on the death of your Mom. Deb was a wonderful person and an excellent nursing professional. I was fortunate to hire Deb when you moved to Cherokee and truly appreciated her contributions. She was so proud of both of you boys and we would share as I also had two boys. I moved from Cherokee in 1999 and I remember her saying that you boys would miss seeing my black BMW as you were fond of my car. Cherish the memories of your Mom and know she touched many people. Donna Vandehaar”
- Donna Vandehaar
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“Being newer neighbors, we just started going on ranger rides past Deb’s house. We have only stopped a few times to talk, but my girls really enjoyed stopping. Wish we would have stopped a few more of the many times they would say “Can we stop at that really nice lady’s house, she said we can stop anytime!?” as we would drive past. Mark, you and your brother our in our thoughts of the passing of your mom, “that really nice lady”.”
- Paige Thomas
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“Chris and Mark I am so sorry for your lose your mother was a very special person she always treated my son like her own and I will always love her for that. Rest In Peace. We will always think of you and Pete.,”
- Mark Campbell
Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 8:39 AM
“Deb was such a kind, gentle, beautiful soul. I send my heartfelt condolences to Chris and Mark and all those who loved her. Our community is a very sad place today.”
- Jan Deedrick
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 3:34 PM
“Bobsy was one of my best friends growing up in Red Oak.......I never laughed as much with anyone else. She made everything fun, but was always kind to everyone. So many good "junior high" memories with her. I was lucky enough to reconnect with her five years ago, after many many years of not seeing her. Condolonces to her family and friends. She is a special angel!”
- Jean Frazee Shores
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 3:34 PM
“Deb was one of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever met, and her smile could light up a room. She was a beautiful lady inside and out.
My heart goes out to her sons, Chris and Mark.
I first met Deb in 2008 when she was my nurse in the specialty clinic. I always enjoyed talking to her when we would run in to each other at the hospital or at Fareway. We both shared the love of travel, and she loved hearing about my dogs and other animals. I would always ask her about her boys and she was so proud of them.
Deb will be missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting her. May God bless her.
My thoughts and prayers are with her sons, and all her family and friends. ”
- Janice Mattoon
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 3:34 PM
“I've always known Deb as "Bobsie", and was one of her friends from Creighton Nursing School. We had way too much fun in college and either I spent weekends with her and Deb Fickel and Chris Ross in Red Oak, or they came with my home one a farm in Columbus, NE. We all roomed on the same floor. I wish with all my heart I could come to the funeral and sit and visit with Mark and Chris to tell them some of their mom's antics. We who knew her loved her dearly. We talked every year around the holidays and I always sent her a letter then. We meet and roomed together at several Cardio-Pulmonary Conferences over the years. I last saw her 5 years ago when several of us meet in Omaha. I would give anything to see her again. Oh, her laugh! She always called me "Mell" as my maiden name was Melliger. Mark or Chris, if you could send me your addresses I would love to send you some pictures of our college gang. Your mom was so much fun. I will miss her terribly and I can't imagine how hard this will be for you both. I will be praying for you. God Bless you and your entire family. ”
- Kathryn Jones
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 3:34 PM
“Deb was one of the most caring and compassionate people I have ever met, and her smile could light up a room. She was a beautiful lady inside and out.
My heart goes out to her sons, Chris and Mark.
I first met Deb in 2008 when she was my nurse in the specialty clinic. I always enjoyed talking to her when we would run in to each other at the hospital or at Fareway. We both shared the love of travel, and she loved hearing about my dogs and other animals. I would always ask her about her boys and she was so proud of them.
Deb will be missed by all that ever had the pleasure of meeting her. May God bless her.
My thoughts and prayers are with her sons, and all her family and friends. ”
- Janice Mattoon
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 3:34 PM
“Chris and Matt,
My heartfelt condolences go to you at this time of grief. Your mother was an amazing woman of grace and humility. Her contributions to the school and the community were immeasurable. ”
- John Chalstrom
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 3:34 PM
“Love the smiling picture of Bobsy posted on this page. I so admired her sweet, kind soul. it was a highlight for our mother growing up, when Bobsy would come for a visit on Sunday morning coffee. She brought a sense of peace to the craziness of that day. You always left feeling better after spending time with Bobsy. Thinking of you Christopher, Mark and all the Bendas who will miss her so. ”
- Jane Anderson
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 3:34 PM
“My deepest sympathies go out to the family and all the people who knew Bobsy. She was a joy to be around and I will miss my classmate. R.I.P. Bobsy. You will live on in all of our hearts.”
- Randy Kammerer
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“Red Oak Class of 1970 is mourning & grieving the loss of our best classmate and lifelong friend. Bobsy was always part of the girls and equally part of all the guys. She had that way of connecting with everyone and we'll all miss her smile and her laugh. All of our condolences to the Benda & Johnson families and all her Cherokee and Red Oak friends. Class of 70”
- Red Oak Class of 1970
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“She was a best friend and partner in "fun" crime! She was such a caring, sweet, considerate person with such a great sense of humor. I am honored to have had such a wonderful friend throughout the years! She will be missed by many.”
- Becky Napierala
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“Bobsy was always such fun to be around as a friend of my wife, Becky. I considered her my "personal nurse" whenever I had health questions. She was always caring and a joy to be around. It was also fun to help her try to catch Pete smoking!”
- Dan Napierala
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“No words can describe how sorry I am for the loss of your Mother. Bobsy was a great women and a wonderful friend she will be truly missed and will always be remembered. Sincere Condolences. ”
- Craig DeBolt
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“Rest easy Deb! Thanks for helping me get through hip replacement.”
- Steve Conley
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“We first met Deb in 1996. She did cardiac rehab at the Cherokee hospital. I had just undergone by-pass heart surgery and felt very uncertain and down. Deb and her coworkers (staff) encouraged me and helped me regain a positive outlook. Her gentle, encouraging words and professionalism motivated me to look forward to each rehab visit even though she "worked me" hard. Norma and I often ran into her at the hospital and in Cherokee; she was constantly gracious, thinking of others, and always smiling. We shall always be grateful for her friendship, professionalism, and love. God bless her and give her peace. Bob and Norma Blair”
- Robert & Norma Blair
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“"No eye has seen ,no ear has heard and no mind has imagined the things that God has prepared for for those who love Him."
Benda / Pfeiffer 70 years of friendship and counting ! ”
- Gregory T Pfeiffer
Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:34 PM
“I had the great pleasure of working with you Mom at the hospital. A truly caring and wonderful person.”
- Jerry and Vicki Menke
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