OBITUARY

Arthur "Sonny" L. Johnson

March 19, 1942March 10, 2020
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Arthur L. "Sonny" Johnson, 77, passed away on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, from complications of multiple myeloma. He was surrounded by his loving family, and is now rejoicing in the arms of Jesus. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at McLaren's Chapel in West Des Moines, IA with burial at Iowa Veterans Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at McLaren's Chapel.

Art was born March 19, 1942. He was raised in Perry, IA, by his parents Arthur T. and Edna Johnson and attended Perry High School. Art joined the U.S. Air Force and after being discharged from the military, Art worked numerous jobs until he became an EMT, employed by Dallas County Ambulance Service in 1972. After seven years as an EMT, he joined the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy sheriff. He attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, where he demonstrated his leadership qualities and was elected president of his class.

In 1992, Art was elected Dallas County Sheriff and was honored to be the first black sheriff in the state of Iowa. He served a total of three terms before he retired in 2004.

In 1976, Art married the love of his life, Wanda, and together they raised four children. He is survived by his wife; daughter, Roschelle (Josh) Robertson; daughter, Amy (Gene) Gaumer; son, Orlando Mitchell; and daughter, Andrea Johnson; 15 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Audrey Kelly.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Hope Ministries.

Services

  • Visitation Monday, March 16, 2020
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Memories

Arthur "Sonny" L. Johnson

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Julie Leniton

March 17, 2020

Dear Wanda, Amy, and family,
We were all saddened in knowing about Art’s passing. May your cherished memories sustain and be with you at this difficult time.
God’s blessings,
Julie Leniton and family

Karen Lockman

March 17, 2020

Wanda, I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are for you, your children and grandchildren. May you find peace in his loving memory.
I have good memories of both you and Art at the Lockman family reunions.
Art was a very nice person.
May he rest in peace.

Mike Woodruff

March 16, 2020

Wanda - I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of Art. I was hoping to make it to the visitation but didn't make it so just want to let you know that you and your family are in our thoughts.

Edward King

March 16, 2020

My father was absent for most of my life. The males in my life consisted of my Great-Grand-Father, my Grandfather, Uncle William (Singleton), and Uncle Sonny (Arthur).
They kept my brothers and me from fighting, talked to us when we did wrong and why it was wrong, taught me to fish and to love people.
There are lessons I have taught my children... and I still love to fish.
You will be missed Uncle Sonny.
Until we meet in Heaven.

Gene Krumm

March 14, 2020

Wanda and family, sorry for your loss. Art was a good man and will be missed by many. He was a good neighbor and a good sheriff. Gene

Margie Branam

March 13, 2020

Wanda and family - There is not near enough space to share all the amazing memories....babysitting was something I always looked forward to every Saturday and just being a part of your family! A fun memory was when Art borrowed my Donna Summer album....disco was the rage and all...Amy and I had run to Ben Franklin and when we came back he had those tunes blaring!! ... we could hear it before we walked in the door!!! It was great!! I was 15 or 16 so Amy was pretty small! Such a kind soul and easy person to talk to! Thinking of you all...Margie

Carole Bayeur-Dawson

March 13, 2020

Wanda, I was so sad to hear about Art. I will always remember his kindness and friendship when we served together as elected officials for DC. May your wonderful memories fill your heart with joy as the sorrow eases. May the Lord Bless and keep you and your family.
Love, Carole

Julie Shook

March 13, 2020

Im sorry Mrs Johnson, Girls and family I'm sorry for your loss.

Chuck Thompson

March 12, 2020

RIP Art. A good man and a darn good Sheriff. Your demeanor and bearing were always first class. You will be missed.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
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FROM THE FAMILY