Cover photo for Johnnie Villegas's Obituary
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1936 Johnnie Villegas 2024

Johnnie Villegas

September 2, 1936 — June 28, 2024



Johnnie Villegas was born on September 2, 1936 in Yoder, Wyoming, the son of Severiano Villegas and Florentina Martinez. Johnnie attended Yoder Public School in Yoder, Wyoming and later obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from the Nebraska State Teachers College at Kearney on July 31, 1959. 

On September 12, 1962, Johnnie was inducted into the United States Army where he served his country until his honorable discharge on August 28, 1964. After dedicated military service, Johnnie returned to Nebraska and made significant contributions as an educator in Nebraska before eventually settling in Irwin, Iowa.

On June 5, 1977, Johnnie was united in marriage with JoAnn Bohlmann at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Irwin. For many years, he dedicated his time and passion to educating the youth within the Irwin School system. His impact extended beyond the classroom as he also served as a respected referee. Johnnie's commitment to teaching and officiating touched the lives of many and left a lasting legacy within the community. Johnnie's legacy extends through his successful ownership of the Johnnie’s Café in Irwin and JoAnn’s Beauty Salon, which he shared with JoAnn. 

Throughout his career, Johnnie found purpose and joy in his work at Western Engineering in Harlan from 1989 until December 18, 2019. Known as a service tech with a versatile skill set, he was described as a cherished individual who never seemed to have a bad day. His positivity was infectious, and his presence brought light to those around him. Johnnie and JoAnn both worked for Western Engineering so they could be together on the road. 

Johnnie shared a special bond with his wife JoAnn. Together, they welcomed a little Dachshund into their lives, naming him Mac after the truck JoAnn drove at Western Engineering. Their love for each other and their furry companion created a warm and loving home that reflected the kindness they shared. In earlier years, Jonnie and JoAnn had a passion for riding bikes and were members of a bike club in Irwin. In 1988, their daughter, Jodean joined them and rode RAGBRAI across the state of Iowa. 

In the later years of his life, Johnnie continued to spread joy by making deliveries part-time for Farm Service Cooperative in Irwin from March of 2021 until November of 2023. His commitment to helping others and his strong work ethic were evident in every role he took on. Johnnie was a longtime member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Irwin. He found great joy in serving as a council member and his dedication to his church community was unwavering, reflecting his selfless and caring nature.

He is remembered by all who knew him for his passion for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. His love for watching volleyball was a well-known aspect of his character, showcasing his passion and enthusiasm for the sport. Johnnie's hands were gifted with the ability to mend anything broken. His passion for fixing things was unparalleled, and he was always on the go, never one to sit still. Among Johnnie's many interests were yard work and tending to his beautiful flowers around the yard.

His dedication to family shone brightly through his support for his grandchildren in their sporting events. Even if that meant cheering on for the University of Arkansas, Arkansas Tech University, and Southern Nazarene University. His commitment to attending every grandchild's graduation showcased his immense love for his family. He found joy in simple pleasures and had a particular fondness for spending time with his dear friend and companion, Barb Petersen, over the last decade.

Johnnie passed away suddenly of pneumonia on Friday, June 28, 2024 at the Manning Regional Healthcare Center in Manning at the age of 87 years, 9 months, and 26 days. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, JoAnn Villegas; sisters: Theresa Villegas Mason and Jean Vigil Bachlor; brothers: George Villegas and Phillip Villegas.

Survivors include his daughter, Jodean Rupert-Groesbeck of Flower Mound, Texas; son, Roderick "Rowdey" Rupert of Brandon, Minnesota; 11 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; 9 great-great-grandchildren; siblings: Mary Villegas Lira of Colorado, Ed Villegas of Montana, and Cathy Villegas Delaney of Colorado; a host of other relatives and friends.

Visitation with Family Greeting Friends will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, 2024 at Ohde Funeral Home in Manning. Johnnie's funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, July 12, 2024 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Irwin. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery in Irwin. Memorials may be directed to the family. 

 Johnnie's Funeral Service will be livestread at

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation with Family Greeting Friends

Thursday, July 11, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Ohde Funeral Home - Manning

108 1st St, Manning, IA 51455

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Funeral Service

Friday, July 12, 2024

10:30 - 11:15 am (Central time)

St. Paul's Lutheran Church - Irwin

202 Eva St, Irwin, IA 51446

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Oak Hill Cemetery

, Irwin, IA 51446

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