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Coreen E.
Johnson (Rohrberg)

September 17, 1943 – December 18, 2020

Coreen Johnson
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"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
— Mueller Memorial Funeral and Cremation Services
"We love you, Coreen and shall miss having you across the alley from us! xoxo Neil and Andrew"
— Neil and Andrew (neighbors)
"A wonderful neighbor. Gave us amazing company and the best recipes."
— Andrew Stobbs
"Coreen was an amazing lady, she will be truly missed by her Des Moines family. "
— Jenny Wamberg Hall

Obituary for Coreen E. Johnson (Rohrberg)

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Virtual Visitation 6 PM to 7:30 PM CST Fri January 15, 2021

Virtual Memorial Service 10 AM CST Sat January 16, 2021

Link to Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89341735525?pwd=SUk3d2N0K2lKbEUzMkdNSlBDR21LUT09

Meeting ID: 893 4173 5525
Passcode: Coreen

STARTING WEAK, FINISHING STRONG

Coreen Ella Rohrberg Johnson was born September 17, 1943 to Levon Rohrberg and Irlene Bebensee Rohrberg, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Considered small for that time, ( 4 # 6 oz), she remained in the hospital for nearly three weeks . When her Grandfather Gustave Rohrberg saw her, he said, “she will not make it home, get her baptized! Her baptism was conducted at the hospital by the Reverend O. C. Biermann, St. Johns Lutheran, Mineola, IA. Her first bed on coming home was a large shoe box and then she moved up to a dresser drawer. She was small but strong, and remained strong her entire life as evidenced by her courageous 4 year battle with pancreatic cancer. She died at her home on December 18, 2020.
Coreen has two siblings, her older brother, LeVerne who welcomed her home, and Kenton, who was born five years later. Coreen’s parents were farmers, working for land owners for a portion of the crop just east of Glenwood, Iowa. When Coreen was in fifth grade her parents bought a nearby farm and raised corn, soybeans, and livestock. She described her childhood as fun, despite the war. She had frequent visits to and from family, grew close to many cousins, did various farm chores like caring for animals and gardening. She enjoyed helping her mother, but detested butchering chickens. There were other adventures. One particular incident involved a bucket in the garden and an unknown visitor. Coreen hated snakes. One day as she crossed the path into the garden there was a snake. With a yelp, she threw the bucket into the air and was back in the house before it hit the ground! She also remembered driving the tractor while her uncles loaded hay on the hay wagon. She attended Little Brick School-- 22 students-- where her only same grade classmate was Walter. The next year she went to “town school” in Glenwood where she entered high school. She loved English and her teacher Barbara Waldarab and math, taught by Tom Davis.
Knowing that she wanted to become a teacher, she attended and graduated from Northwest Missouri State College with a BS in Education and later earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Minnesota. She taught her entire life in junior high, high school and junior college and enjoyed the students and logical nature of the subject.
Coreen began her teaching career at Manchester, Iowa. She then moved to Belvidere, Illinois schools and eventually migrated to St. Paul, Minnesota in 1974. She loved the outdoors and skiing and the woods. She enjoyed both down hill and cross country skiing. She bought her current home in 1975 and was proud to live there until her passing.
She met her husband-to-be, Ken Johnson, in 1991. Ken, an employee of the BSNF Railroad, quickly became a part of the family. Coreen and Ken enjoyed traveling and among the places they visited were Denmark, Northern Europe, the Panama Canal, Alaska, and many sites in the states. Coreen also traveled to England and Iceland. She also learned to enjoy golf.
Coreen loved her nieces and nephews and Ken’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren .They would often spend their time visiting family through the United States. Outside of family, Coreen’s greatest love was Cross Lutheran Church in St. Paul. She served as lay minister and for a time served as leader of the United Sisters. She loved participating in worship. She was also passionate about outreach programs such as John Glenn School.
Coreen was preceded in death by her husband, Ken, in 2011. She is survived by her brother, LeVerne (Diane) of Glenwood, Iowa, brother Kenton (Eileen) of Topeka, Kansas, nieces and nephews LaDonna, Daniel, and LeAnne, Erin, Justin, Travis, and their spouses and children. She is also survived by Ken’s daughters, Barb Shorrel (Gary), Linda (Ira) Whipple, Kathy (Ron) Ebert and their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. In addition, she will missed by her many dear friends and church family.
Memorials may be sent to Cross Lutheran Church on Prosperity in Maplewood, Minnesota or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
A virtual visitation and virtual service are planned for early January. Please check the Mueller Memorial Website for upcoming details.
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