Cover photo for Norman Russell Johannsen's Obituary
Norman Russell Johannsen Profile Photo

Norman Russell Johannsen

d. March 11, 2011

Norman Russell Johannsen, the son of Christian Frederick and Pauline Lena (Namanny) Johannsen, was born on May 20, 1918, in Monroe Township, Shelby County, Iowa. He attended Jackson #9 country school through the eighth grade. For several years, Norman worked for George “Stump” Hansen. On August 2, 1939, Norman married Zelda Marie Burmeister at English Lutheran Church in Avoca, Iowa. For two years the couple farmed with Nic Ohms. From 1942-1947, they farmed in Monroe Township; then they purchased the Ohms farm in Jackson Township. Norman and Zelda farmed that land until 1975, when their son, Galan, and his family moved to the farm. Norman and Zelda then moved to an acreage in Monroe Township, where they lived for ten years before retiring to Harlan, Iowa, in 1990. Zelda died on October 17, 2008, in Avoca, Iowa. Norman had recently become a resident of the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan.

Norman was a member of Peace United Church of Christ in Walnut, Iowa, where he had served as a board member for four years. He had served as a Director for the Jackson #9 school. Norman was a former member of the Golden Kiwanis of Harlan, and a former board member of the Peace Haven Home of Walnut. He enjoyed traveling south to Texas and Arizona, camping, and fishing at area parks and lakes. He loved to watch sports, especially the Chicago Cubs. Norman also enjoyed restoring antique John Deere tractors and driving them in parades.

Norman R. Johannsen died on Friday, March 11, 2011, at the Elm Crest Retirement Community in Harlan, Iowa, having reached the age of 92 years, 9 months, and 19 days.

Norman was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Zelda M. Johannsen; one sister, Martha Clausen; three brothers, Herman Johannsen, Arnold Johannsen, and Bruno Johannsen; and one son-in-law, Willis Krummel. He is survived by one daughter, JoAnn Krummel of Avoca, Iowa; one son, Galan (Janet) Johannsen of Harlan, Iowa; seven grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; and other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were held on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at Peace United Church of Christ in Walnut, Iowa, with Pastor Heather Ploen officiating. Serving as musicians were Marjorie Kobs, Lesley Krummel, Amber McGreevy, and Eric Johannsen. Casket bearers were LuAnn Jensen, John Krummel, Michael Krummel, Bruce Krummel, Eric Johannsen, Sarah Fink, and Reid Johannsen. Burial was in the Layton Township Cemetery in Walnut, Iowa. The Burmeister-Johannsen Funeral Home in Harlan was in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left online at

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