Iva Jean Johnson Brattebo
1926 - 2020
Iva Jean Johnson was born to Grant Johnson and Gladys Tressler Johnson Nov. 23, 1926, in the small Scandinavian farm town of Story City, Iowa.
In kindergarten, she met Bill Brattebo, who would later become her husband and the love of her life. Amongst mementos left behind are a Valentine he gave her in the fourth grade and a box full of love letters they exchanged while he was away in the military. Raised in an era when women were expected to be wives and homemakers, she put aside her dreams of becoming a nurse and married Bill when he came home from Germany after serving in the Army during World War II. Their union lasted 73 years until his death in 2019. Bill’s work took them all over the country and she handled each promotion and subsequent relocation with grace and aplomb, while quietly thinking, you’ve got to be kidding — we have to move again???
Iva was a great role model and the consummate wife, mom, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her major focus in life was to provide a warm and nurturing home and raise her children to be responsible, caring, confident and productive adults. An excellent cook, her children came home from school each day to a cheerful, bustling house with good smells coming from the kitchen. Their classmates always wanted to play at the Brattebo household and adults who received an invitation to dine at Bill and Iva’s considered themselves lucky indeed.
Above all, Iva was loving and kind and had great inner strength. Devoted to her family, she was the Girl Scout leader, the cupcake baker and the homework warden. She unflinchingly endured hours of listening to music practice and into her 90s would occasionally whip off a few words in French, no doubt learned by osmosis decades ago while quizzing her potential Francophile on verb conjugation. She never missed an athletic event or a school performance, a birthday or special event. She loved flowers and gardening and animals with a passion. Her favorite day of the week at her assisted living residence was when the therapy dogs would come to visit and she always kept a stash of dog biscuits handy.
Iva was preceded in death by her husband, Bill; son Paul Brattebo, and granddaughter Addison Ball. She is survived by her daughter Cathy (Brian) White of Montrose; grandson Parker Brattebo of Bend, Oregon, and great-grandson Gavin Ball of Portland, Oregon.
At her request there will be no funeral.
The family would like to thank the excellent, caring staff at Montage Creek and the wonderful people at HopeWest for taking such good care of Iva at the end of her life. Contributions in her memory may be made to HopeWest, 725 S. 4th St., Montrose, CO 81401.