Kristinia Louise Johnson
Kristinia Louise Johnson
Nov. 1, 1957 - Sept. 1, 2023
URBANDALE, Iowa - Jesus says “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is on heaven.” ~Matthew 5: 14-16.
Kris was light to our world. She knew her Father in heaven because of her relationship with Jesus. Her kindness, compassion, humility, empathy, generosity, and selflessness were her “good works”, and the evidence of that relationship.
Kris knew exactly who she was and never strayed from it. If Kris did it or said it, you knew that it invariably came from a good place, humility, and a pure heart. She was the consummate listener for friends. Even strangers had an unusual desire to share their burdens with her. She well understood that folks don’t normally remember so much what you say or do, but how you make them feel. Everyone felt good being near Kris. She embodied Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing from selfishness of empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important then yourself.”
Her career was mostly as a homemaker, but over the years she was involved in nursing home ministries, working for several years as a para-educator one-on-one with preschool autistic children, which gave her great joy. She was also part of the Hand in Hand special needs ministry at Valley Church until her mobility was compromised.
She viewed her physical challenges as minor bumps in the road she strove to either overcome or just deal with. Her lifestyle, demeanor and approach to life never changed, and because of her faith and attitude toward life, she n-e-v-e-r complained. True story. She continued to enjoy travel, being with family and friends, concerts, dogs, cats, knitting, birds, flowers, her Valley Church family and encouraging everyone she met.
Kris entered the Glorious Presence of Jesus on Fri., Sept. 1, 2023, just two months before her 66th birthday. She was born Nov. 1, 1957, to Ken and Marlene Foster and grew up in McCook, Neb. She was Homecoming Queen (go figure!) at McCook High School and made her lone athletic team as the court sweeper for the tennis team! She attended McCook Community College for two years and graduated from Kearney State College (now UNK) in 1980.
She met Greg Johnson (a Cozad boy), at KSC in the Spring of 1980, shortly after he transferred to UNK and just before she graduated. Greg maintains that he knew he’d met his future bride the moment he saw her! She took a little more time to come to the same conclusion and they were married that December in McCook. Greg told anyone who would listen that when God picked out a wife for him, He gave him Mercy instead of Justice. That truth never changed. After Greg graduated in 1982, they traveled the western half of the country building transmission power lines for a year, then spent a couple years in Minden, Neb. in carpentry. Greg got a job in insurance claims in 1986, resulting in stops in Ogallala, Neb., Lincoln (x2), Lombard, Ill., and finally, Urbandale Iowa where they’ve been since 1999.
Kris and Greg were blessed with two kids while in Lincoln the first time around - Carly in 1987 and Joe in 1990. Both possess many of Kris’s strengths and life view. Carly married the family’s favorite son-in-law, Andy Gioia, in 2015, and they have blessed the Johnsons with two granddaughters, Leonie Rose, 5, and Ivy Drew, 2. They are the apples of each of their parents’ and grandparents’ eyes and live in Winfield, Ill. Joe lives just around the corner in Urbandale and recently received a “Yes” from Tori Rothman, also of Urbandale, to his marriage proposal! Kris was so excited for Tori to join the family.
Kris is also survived by her parents, Ken and Marlene Foster, of McCook, Neb.; sister, De De Donohue and her husband Greg, of Lakewood, Colo.; bother Todd Foster and his wife Dawn, of McCook; mother-in-law Norma Schlattmann of Kearney, Neb.; stepbrother Craig Schlattmann and his wife Laura, of Tacoma, Wash.; stepbrother Rick Schlattmann of Lame Deer, Mont.; nephews Kendell Foster, Sam Donohue and his wife Reggie and three sons, and Stefen Donohue; and grandnieces Qwynn and Evelyn Foster.
She was preceded in death by her father-in-law Jim Johnson, stepfather-in-law Henry “Dode” Schlattmann, sister-in-law Ann Johnson Kadavy, brother-in-law Gary Kadavy, and nephew Cameron Foster.
While our hearts are broken, we find joy in knowing it’s because of how deeply Kris loved us and how we loved her, and that we will see her again.
A memorial service will be held Wed., Sept. 6, 2023 at 11:00 a.m., with visitation one hour prior, both at Valley Church, 4343 Fuller Road, West Des Moines, IA 50265. Memorials may be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Iowa or Animal Rescue League of Iowa.
Ernst Funeral & Cremation Services of Waukee has been entrusted with Kris’ final arrangements.