The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Meet Your Neighbor

by Susan Galbraith, The Quill

Meet Your Neighbors, Leonard and Sharon Johnson of rural Gladstone.

Leonard was co-owner in Carl A. Nelson Construction and retired in 2001.

He was born in Ft. Madison, Iowa, and raised on a farm in the Weaver, Iowa, area, better known as the Green Bay Bottoms.

Leonard graduated from Aquinas High School in Ft. Madison, Iowa, and went to David Rankin School of Engineering in St. Louis, Missouri. He also served in the National Guard.

Sharon was born and raised in Keokuk, Iowa, and graduated from Keokuk High School in Keokuk, Iowa.

She was employed at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant in Middleton, Iowa, as an accounts payable clerk for 10 years having retired in 2000.

They have been married for 23 years.

Leonard and Sharon have three children, Neil, an electrician, and his son Quinn (4), who live in Indianapolis, Indiana, Bill, a printer, (wife Christina) a photographer, and children, of Buffalo, Missouri, Christina, a nurse anestologist (husband Keith), a technician in the medical supply field, and son, Nolan (2) who live in Des Moines, Iowa.

Leonard's parents were Leonard and Bernice Johnson, both deceased.

Leonard's grandfather came from Sweden and married a Swedish young lady in Biggsville. After Leonard's father was born, they moved to the farm in Weaver, Iowa.

Sharon's mother is Vivian Maxine Wardlow of Keokuk, Iowa. Her father passed away in 2000.

They have a beautiful grape arbor which Leonard enjoys taking care of as he spends a lot of time outside doing landscaping.

He also enjoys an occasional golf game and fishing in the pond behind their home.

A favorite time of year for them is August when the grapes are ripe.

Their grandchildren come to help them pick. The children pick one at a time and drop them in their buckets and then everyone gets to take turns stomping grapes to make wine.

Now that little Nolan is 2, and doesn't wear a diaper, he can stomp! A prerequisite to stomp is that you need to be out of diapers! If there any grapes left over after the wine making, Sharon makes grape jelly with their grandchildren.

Sharon spends her spare time reading, and sewing, and they both love mushroom hunting in the spring.

Leonard has two sisters, Shirley, who lives in Arizona and Carol who lives in California; 3 brothers, Harvey in Burlington, Iowa, Paul in Massachusetts and Don who lives in Ft. Madison, Iowa. Dale and Lee, two of his brothers, are deceased.

Sharon has two brothers, Ronnie of Kennewick, Washington, and Lee of St. Louis, Missouri; three sisters, Susan, of Webster, Wisconsin, Judy of Keokuk, Iowa, and Debbie, who lives in Colorado.

An enjoyable vacation for them is the time they spend every year in Puerto Viarta Mexico. They usually vacation there 1 to 3 weeks in January or February and at different times several family members have joined them.

They have traveled extensively but a memorable trip was when they went to Toronto to go up in the Space Needle. The day they decided to go was a foggy day and after seeing the floor of the Needle was clear glass, they quickly changed their minds!

The year of the flood they "had" planned on vacationing to New Orleans!