January 12, 1933 – November 7, 2018
Mary Alice Johns, Des Moines
Mary Alice Johns, 85, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 due to a brief illness with cholangiocarcinoma at Edgewater Retirement Community in West Des Moines, IA. Prior to her diagnosis with cancer, Mary was blessed with excellent health for the majority of her 85 years and was able to truly enjoy life. There will be a private family service and entombment at Resthaven Mausoleum in West Des Moines.
Mary was born January 12, 1933 in Erie, PA to Alice and Clarence King. Mary graduated from Waterford High School in 1951 and shortly thereafter joined the United States Navy serving our Country four years in Washington D.C. While serving at the Pentagon, Mary met and married her husband, Paul, in April 1958. After completion of her military commitment, Mary and Paul moved to south Des Moines where she resided her entire life.
Mary was the consummate homemaker, wife and mother raising three children. In addition, Mary sold real estate, had her own daily radio show, worked at her husband’s podiatric medical practice, ran for Des Moines City Council and served many years on The City of Des Moines Plan and Zoning Commission. Mary was strong willed, principled and her assessments were unambiguous and uncompromising though fair. An outstanding cook and host, Mary truly enjoyed decorating, hosting and cooking for holiday gatherings for the family. She loved to travel and saw the world, including Europe, Russia, Africa and China in her younger years. Las Vegas and The Bahama’s were also frequent stops where she enjoyed the weather and playing the slots. A long-time, avid Hawkeye football fan, Mary attended many bowl games in California and Florida over the years as well. A lifelong animal lover, Mary loved all animals, especially her German Shepherds’ and many other dogs and cats.
Mary is survived by her husband of 60 years, Dr. Paul of Des Moines, IA; sons, Paul (Michelle) of Bondurant, IA, Dr. David (Laurie) of West Des Moines, IA, and Steven (Anne) of Pleasant Hill, IA; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and her cats, Charlie and Taz. She was preceded in death by her parents, Alice and Clarence King; sister, Florence; and many furry friends.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the truly exceptional and passionate care provided to Mary during her final months by the Edgewater Retirement Community Assisted Living, pastoral care and hospice staff.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.