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1931 Lowell B. Johnson 2024

Lowell B. Johnson

December 11, 1931 — January 15, 2024

Sioux City, Iowa


     Lowell Byron Johnson was born on December 11, 1931, in rural Nebraska to Oliver Alex and Iva Juanita (Shell) Johnson.  Lowell was the middle born of 6 children.  He died January 15, 2024, at Sunrise Retirement Community after a brief illness. 

     Lowell attended York College in York, Nebraska, graduating in 1954.  He would travel back home during the summers to serve at a small local church.  Lowell met Reta Price at York College. They married December 27, 1953 in Mullinville, KS. 

     Lowell enjoyed telling stories of how hard he and Reta worked to ‘get through’.  Following graduation, they moved to Elba, Nebraska.  They taught in the Elba Schools for 1 year:   Reta taught kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades.  Lowell taught 8th grade and English, Biology, Music in high school. Lowell also served a church in nearby Ord, Nebraska.

     Lowell attended Evangelical Theological Seminary (now Garrett Theological Seminary). He graduated with a Masters in Divinity in 1958.  While in Seminary, near Chicago, he worked many part-time jobs - maintenance crew for the seminary; fired the boiler at the seminary and at a church where he was custodian.  He was ‘assistant pastor in charge of youth work’ at Fourth Street Methodist church.  He also drove school & charter bus, bus maintenance and served as dispatcher. During seminary, Lowell stated “another student & I bought a small painting company and painted houses – especially in summer.”  Reta worked part-time while Lowell was in seminary. He graduated from Seminary in 1958, was ordained as a Minister of the Evangelical United Brethren (EUB) denomination in Culbertson, NE on a Thursday and told to report to Lamar, NE on the following Wednesday. 


The churches that Lowell served are as follows:

1958 - 1962     Lamar, Chase & Crete, Nebraska – the first pastor assigned to serve the 3 churches, leading 3 services every Sunday for 3 years.

1962 - 1966     Milford, Nebraska – Church and Camp Superintendent

1968                Evangelical United Brethren Denomination merged with the Methodist Church to become the United Methodist Church. Lowell became Presbyterian.

1966 – 1969    Orleans, Nebraska - Orleans Presbyterian/Stamford Presbyterian Churches (PCUSA)

1969 – 1975    Johnston, Iowa - St. Paul Presbyterian Church

1975 – 1981    Sioux City, Iowa – Westminster Presbyterian Church

1981 - 1989     Pender, Nebraska – United Presbyterian and Methodist Churches

1989 – 1991    Terry, Montana – Presbyterian Church Fallon, Montana – Lutheran Church


     Lowell was a man of many skills – he held a Realtor license, flipped houses, handyman, mechanic and bicycle repairman.  He was Chaplain for the Rescue Unit/Ambulance in two communities.  Lowell retired from full-time ministry in 1991, and he and Reta returned to Sioux City for a brief time. Lowell was able to achieve a dream of owning an ‘acreage with apple trees’ when he and Reta moved to Woodbine, Iowa in 1995. He spent 15 years driving a meter route for the REC and took a lot of pride in that job.  Lowell did pulpit supply for area churches in his early retirement years. 

     Together, Lowell & Reta raised 6 children to adulthood.  They sheltered many foster children as well. The family loved camping and being with the extended family.

     After 20 years on the farm, health concerns caused them to return to Sioux City.  Lowell was diagnosed with Parkinsonism and dementia. 

     Lowell and Reta celebrated 70 years of marriage on December 27, 2023. Lowell began a rapid decline on December 31, 2023.

     Lowell is survived by his wife Reta; his children Miriam (Fonny) Davidson [2 children, 2 grandchildren], Mark (Val) Johnson [2 children, 7 grandchildren], Mary (John) Jorgensen [6 children, 14 grandchildren], Virginia (Brad) Davis [3 children], Steven (Julie) Johnson [2 children, 3 grandchildren], Dean Seiser, Kathryina Woodson; many nieces, nephews, and loved ones.

     He is preceded in death by his parents and in-laws; siblings; grandson Jesse Jorgensen; niece Jackie Price; and nephew Dan Johnson.

     In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in Lowell’s name to your favorite charity or nonprofit that serves people.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lowell B. Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, January 21, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central (no DST) time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, January 22, 2024

10:30 - 11:30 am (Central (no DST) time)

Faith United Presbyterian Church

4327 Morningside Avenue, Sioux City, IA 51106

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