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Crystal Johnson

April 1, 1933 - October 16, 2018

Funeral services for Crystal Johnson were celebrated on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. at the First Reformed Church in Buffalo Center with Pastor William Peake officiating. Burial was in the Olena Mound Cemetery.

Crystal Elizabeth Johnson was born April 1, 1933, near Northwood, Iowa, the daughter of Alfred and Elizabeth (Cornelius) Groe. She grew up near Northwood and attended country school before going to Lake Mills to finish her schooling. Crystal graduated from the Lake Mills High School in 1951. She went on to attend Lutheran Deaconess School of Nursing in Minneapolis, MN. After her schooling she worked as a Registered Nurse at the Forest City Hospital and later in Miami, Arizona, for one year, before returning to work at the Forest City Hospital.

On April 14, 1957, Crystal was united in marriage to Donald H. Johnson at the Sion Lutheran Church rural Northwood. After their marriage they lived and farmed near Buffalo Center and Crystal worked at the Buffalo Center Hospital until it closed. The couple remained on the farm until moving into Buffalo Center in 2006.

Crystal enjoyed cooking and doing many crafts, such as embroidery for quilts, crocheting afghans, needlepoint and especially hardanger. She was an active member of the First Reformed Church in the past, serving as a Sunday Evening Service organist and Sunday School teacher.

Through her years as a RN, Crystal cared for many patients and enjoyed reconnecting with them and their family members. Many elderly and ill family and friends enjoyed her annual holiday baking. She made krumkake from Halloween to Easter each year and one year she even logged 80 buckets. Crystal enjoyed preparing and serving hot noon meals to the many young people that walked the Johnson bean fields over the years.

She shared her talents by teaching others hardanger and enjoyed their successes at various fairs. Crystal was proud of the young neighbors Zach and Ryan Steffensen that she provided childcare for. During her final years, Crystal provided encouragement to her care givers.

Crystal died Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at the Timely Mission Nursing Home in Buffalo Center. She was 85.

She is survived by her husband, Donald H. Johnson of Buffalo Center; daughter, Sheryl Johnson of Burnsville, MN; son, Eldon Johnson of Buffalo Center; grandsons, Allix Betsinger of Lakota and Dallas Boysen-Betsinger of Austin, MN; siblings, twin brother, Comer (Audrey) Groe of Lake Mills; Esther (Ronald) Halvorson of Joice; Marilyn Peterson of Annandale, MN; an aunt, Wilma Groe of Burlington and several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, JoAnn Hovey.

Arrangements were handled by Oakcrest Funeral Services Winter Chapel of Buffalo Center. Condolences may be left at

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