Skip to content


Bonnie Marie Johnston, daughter of Alva and Marie (Leichliter) Cowell, was born at home in Ringgold County, Iowa on July 20, 1931. Bonnie grew up at Mount Ayr and she graduated from Mount Ayr High School with the class of 1949. On March 25, 1951, she was united in marriage to Ronald Johnston at the Little Brown Church at Nashua, Iowa. To this marriage was born two sons; Evan and Alvin. The family lived in Mount Ayr until 1958 when Ron’s work took them to Lake Wapello State Park at Drakesville, Iowa from 1958 to 1973 when Ron was transferred to Decorah, Iowa. Most recently, Bonnie and Ron have lived in Osage, Iowa. Bonnie loved to look nice and she used that passion to work in retail clothing stores in southeast Iowa and in Decorah, Iowa. She worked at, and retired from, Margaret’s Clothing Store in Decorah, Iowa.
Bonnie enjoyed working with the public. She enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. She liked collecting antiques found at thrift shops and rummage sales. She loved being a mother to her two sons and a grandmother to her three granddaughters and their families.
Bonnie became a resident of the Osage Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Osage, Iowa and it was there that she passed away on May 26, 2018. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Ronald Johnston; sons Evan Johnston and Alvin Johnston; sister Betty Lynch; brothers Duane Cowell, Robert Cowell, and Richard and wife Debbie Cowell; and brother-in-law Herbert Johnston.
Survivors include her three granddaughters and their families: Veronica (Jason) Baldwin of Albuquerque, N.M. and their children Topher and Gabe, Amanda (Andrew) Johnson of Bay City, MI and their daughter Indie, Alana (Luke) Scheer of Osage, IA and their children Drayven and Kade; daughter-in-law Rita Johnston of Osage, IA; sisters-in-law Mildred Johnston of Urbandale, IA and Patricia Cowell of Oregon; many nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Margaret “Muggs” Walter of Decorah, Iowa.
A visitation will be held at Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Thursday, May 31 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Services will begin at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Bill Armstrong officiating. Casketbearers are Veronica Baldwin, Jason Baldwin, Amanda Johnson, Andrew Johnson, Alana Scheer, Luke Scheer, Eric Johnston, Mark Grim. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr. A memorial fund has been established in her name to be decided later. Online condolences may be left at

Leave a Comment