In Memory of Lawrence B. Johnk

Lawrence  B. Johnk
Lawrence B. Johnk
Born: February 7, 1927
Died: February 26, 2019
Age: 92
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Lawrence B. Johnk
February 7, 1927 - February 26, 2019
From: Ida Grove, IA

Lawrence B. Johnk, age 92, of Ida Grove, Iowa passed away on Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at the Willow Dale Wellness Village of Battle Creek, Iowa.

A Funeral Service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church of Ida Grove, Iowa. Rev. Chad Lierman will officiate. Committal Services will follow in the Ida Grove Cemetery of Ida Grove, Iowa with Military Rites conducted by the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion, of Ida Grove, Iowa. A Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, March 1, 2019, at the Christensen – Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa. The Christensen - Van Houten Funeral Home of Ida Grove, Iowa is in charge of the funeral arrangements. Condolences may be sent online at

Lawrence Burton Johnk, the son of LeRoy and Doris (Ives) Johnk, was born February 7, 1927, in Oto, Iowa. Lawrence was raised in the Oto area until the age of 6 when his family moved to Ida Grove, Iowa. He attended Ida Grove High School and in 1945 enlisted in the U.S. Army. Lawrence served during World War II and was stationed in Japan. During his enlistment he was a member of the regimental band and played the trumpet. 

On March 23, 1953, Lawrence was united in marriage to Gwendolyn Hoaglund in Nogales, Arizona. The couple lived in Arizona and California for several months, then returned to Ida Grove where they raised their family of three children: Melanie, Kim and Larry. Lawrence worked for United Builders and Barry Motors as a mechanic for a number of years. Then owned his own truck to drive long distance runs delivering meat from coast to coast. Later he drove for Mid-Continent out of Denison and when semi-retired he drove short runs for 3 of a Kind out of Schleswig.

Lawrence was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Ida Grove and the McNamara-Moore Post No. 61 of the American Legion. He enjoyed dancing and listening to big band music as well as playing music on his trumpet. He and Gwendolyn took delight in attending the Glenn Miller Music Festival in Clarinda, IA and the “Bix” Beiderbecke Festival in Davenport, IA. Lawrence enjoyed golfing, reading historical fiction books and building things such as an ultra-light glider, bobsled and canoe. He relished time spent with his family especially during holiday gatherings.

Left to cherish his memory include his children Melanie (Terry) Eason of Battle Creek, IA, Kim (Rick) Smith of Altoona, IA and Larry (Kasey) Johnk of Ida Grove, IA; 14 grandchildren: Thad (Dawn) Eason, Evan (Sarah) Eason, Gabe Eason, Seth (Haleigh) Eason, Michael Eason, Patrick Eason, Derek Smith, Shawn Smith, Sarah (Cody) Lomholt, Chelsey Johnk, Butch (Kandi) Ehrig, Chris Ehrig, Deandra Woebke and Devon Corbin; 12 great-grandchildren: Sierra, Blaise and Gavin Eason, Sydney Eason, Wyatt Eason, Eisley Smith, Addison, McKenzie and Weston Lomholt, Nathan, Zach and Dylan Ehrig.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years Gwendolyn Johnk; parents LeRoy and Doris Johnk; daughter-in-law Sandy Johnk; brother Earl “Jube” (Carol) Johnk; sister Marjorie (Bill) Rathbun; great-grandchildren Joshua Ehrig and Colton Eason; step grandchildren Shannon Ehrig, Michelle Ehrig and Cole Corbin; nephew Jay Johnk. 



10:30 a.m., Saturday,
March 2, 2019
First United Methodist Church
Ida Grove, Iowa


Rev. Chad Lierman


Derek Smith
Shawn Smith
Butch Ehrig
Thad Eason
Evan Eason
Gabe Eason
Seth Eason
Michael Eason
Patrick Eason

Honorary Pallbearers
His Granddaughters & Great Grandchildren


5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Friday,
March 1, 2019
Christensen - Van Houten Funeral Home
Ida Grove, Iowa


Jodie Hudson, Organist
Chelsey Johnk, Vocalist

"How Great Thou Art" ~ solo
"Precious Lord, Take My Hand" ~ hymn
"Amazing Grace" ~ hymn
"Sentimental Journey" ~ recorded selection


Ida Grove Cemetery
Ida Grove, Iowa


Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 3:51 PM
“My sincere condolences to the family. May the God of comfort and loved ones continue to surround you with love and support during these painful days(2Cor 1:3,4).”
- Laura Brown
Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 10:19 AM
“So sorry for your loss. Sending prayers for you in this horribly difficult time. ”
- Sue Birocci
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