Nancy Lee Earnest was born Aug. 9, 1941, in Akron, the daughter of John "Jay" and Theodora "Teddy" (Root) Earnest. She attended Catholic grade school in Akron and graduated from Akron High School in 1959. Nancy continued her education at the University of Iowa and Wayne State College in Wayne, Neb.
On Aug. 26, 1961, Nancy and Gary Johnson were married at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Akron. The couple made their home in Dallas, Texas, where Nancy worked in a pharmacy and Gary finished mortuary college. One year later they moved to Sioux City.
In 1967 Nancy and Gary purchased the Luken Funeral Home in Le Mars. They also operated an ambulance service and were among the first in Iowa to complete EMT training. In 1983 the Luken - Johnson Funeral Home merged with the Mauer Funeral Home.
Later Nancy took a teller position at Sioux Valley Savings and Loan in Le Mars. When the savings and loan closed, Nancy returned to work at the Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home.
Nancy was a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. She served on Council, Altar Guild and various other committees.
Nancy enjoyed her involvement in the Le Mars community. She was a member of Jaycees, Friday Club, DY Chapter of TTT, B.P.O. Elks, Eagles Club, and had served as president of the Le Mars Community Theater Board.
Nancy loved to entertain. She belonged to a gourmet dinner club, many bridge clubs and hosted several other groups in her home.
One of her greatest joys was spending time at her cabin near Akron. She was an avid Iowa Hawkeye Fan.
Blessed to have shared her life are her two sons, Jay Johnson and his wife Barb of Fridley, Minn., and Joel Johnson and his wife Nikki of Le Mars; grandchildren Kyle, Justin and Sarah Johnson of Fridley, Minn., and Jacob, Madelyn and Jack Johnson of Le Mars; a special friend Philip "Skip" Vernon of Le Mars; and a brother, Mike Earnest and his wife Vicki of Okoboji.
Preceding her in death were her parents; and a grandson, Joshua Johnson.
Funeral services were at 10:30 a.m. today (Monday) at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars, with the Rev. Gary Landsness officiating. Burial was at Memorial Cemetery in Le Mars. Visitation began at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars, with the family present 5-8 p.m. and a prayer service at 7 p.m. There was also one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral service Monday.
Stories, memories and expressions of sympathy may be directed through www.mauerjohnsonfh.com.