Irene K. (Wangen) Johnson

Published 1:47 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2021

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Irene Kathryn (Wangen) Johnson, 91, of Clarks Grove, MN, passed away on Friday, September 10, 2021 at Lyngblomsten Care Center in Saint Paul, MN.

Irene K. (Wangen) Johnson

Irene was born in Freeborn County on January 30, 1930 to Martin and Betsy Wangen, marrying Norman Johnson Jr. on May 3, 1947 at the Oakland Lutheran Church, residing in Freeborn County for 77 years where they raised 6 children north of Clarks Grove and were involved in the community, including long time volunteering at St. John’s Lutheran Home, North Freeborn Altar Guild, church women and Circle. Norman and Irene moved to Steele County in 2007. Irene was baptized, married and confirmed at Oakland Lutheran Church. Irene and Norman attended North Freeborn Church from 1950 until it closed in 2000. They joined Grace Lutheran Church after the North Freeborn Church closed.

Irene loved to take care of her family, cooking fabulous meals and baking wonderful treats including fresh breads, rolls, desserts, and lefse. She spent many hours babysitting for her grandchildren. Irene took her role as homemaker very seriously and was a wonderful worker on their dairy and crop farm. Her flower gardens were beautiful. Canning and freezing were common.

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Irene is survived by her son Nathan (Sharon Story) of Clarks Grove, son Chris of Owatonna, son Mark (Cheryl VanWyngeeren) of Ellendale, son David of Albert Lea, daughter Carolyn Klaver (Glen) of Maplewood, sister Alice Brunmeier Lee, sister-in-law Elinor Stotts, sister-in-law Lillian Johnson.

Grandchildren Debra (Jessie Silva), Jennifer (Tim Bangs), Nick (Erin), Michele (Scott Kalb), Eric (Sara), Chad (Allison Slegh), Danyel Skattebo, Elizabeth Griffith, David (Doni Groeneweg), Adam (Becky) Klaver, Kirsten Klaver.

Great grandchildren Colton Johnson, Jessie Silva, Maria Silva, Veronica Silva-Honsey, Felix Silva; Tyler Bangs, Heather Bangs, Makaila Bangs, McKinley, Cora, Beckett; Luke Kalb, Linden Kalb; Blake, Simon, Paisley; Kendall Johnson, Aubri DenHerder, Brixton Johnson, Treshawn Delaney, Justen Skattebo, Gavyn Skattebo, Adam Anderson, Evan Dunlop; Aleyah Griffith, Nora Griffith; Blaine S., Delaney Johnson.

Great-great grandchildren Seth, Jaxson, Alex, Sawyer; Jonah; Axel, Jayden, Eternity.

Irene is preceded in death by her beloved daughter Kathleen, her husband of 64 years Norman, sister Berline (Ernie) Johnson, brothers Walter (Fern) Wangen and Bud (Janice) Wangen, daughter-in-law, Kelly Johnson (married to David), great grandchild Ashton Skattebo (grandchild to David).

Funeral for Irene will be at 11:30AM on Saturday, September 25 at Ellendale Methodist Church of Ellendale, MN with Rev. Randy Cirksena officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the start of the service at the church. Burial will take place before the church service at North Freeborn Cemetery with Rev. Shane Koepke presiding. Online condolences may be left at

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the North Freeborn Cemetery Upkeep fund, rural Clarks Grove.