Mary Lou “Diddy” Kringel Johansen
Mary Lou “Diddy” Kringel Johansen returned to her Heavenly Father on June 7, 2022. Mary Lou was born December 20, 1927, in Iowa City, to Carl (Chris) and Coralie (Cuber) Kringel. Mary Lou received her nickname, Diddy, when she was a child. Older brother Bob’s attempt to tell his sister came out as Diddy, and the name stuck. She and Bob were raised
the Depression, but fared well because their fa
They owned Security Abstract Co. They always had food to eat and a house to live in.
Mary Lou attended Longfellow School and graduated from City High School in Iowa City in 1946. She was a talented pianist and taught piano while still in high school. Mary Lou attended the University of Iowa to study music, before turning to business. Mary Lou was initiated
joined Zeta Tau Alpha sorority on May 17, 1947 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce in 1950.
Seeking adventure, she moved to Chicago and worked for the Northern Trust Co. Although she had a lot of fun living and working in the big city, Mary Lou decided to return home to Iowa City. . There she got a job for President Hancher of the University of Iowa. She met Walter Johansen when he was studying civil engineering at the University. They married on December 31, 1955. They moved to Wood River, Illinois, then to Champaign, Illinois, where Walter worked for Daily and Associates Engineers. Mary Lou continued to teach piano until she became too involved with her own family. After her children were mostly adults, she became secretary of Urbana First United Methodist Church, retiring in 1992.
Mary Lou was a worthy former High Priestess of the White Shrine in Jerusalem and a worthy former Matron of the Star of the East. She sang in the Champaign Sweet Adeline Chorus. She was an active member and Sunday school teacher at Urbana First United Methodist Church. Mary Lou and Walt returned to Io
wa City after retiring and bought a house in the old Mary Lou neighborhood, the historic Longfellow School district. After suffering a severe stroke in 2000, Mary Lou started walking again but was no longer able to play her beloved piano. She loved being part of the Stroke Club and keeping her muscles strong through water therapy. As Walt’s health declined, they decided to move to Davenport, Iowa, to be near their daughter. Mary Lou moved to Garner Place Independent Living after Walt’s death, where she met many new friends and had a great time. Later she moved to Silvercrest Assisted Living and eventually moved in with her daughter Christina for the last three years of her life.
She is survived by her daughter, Patricia Johansen, pastor of Quincy United Methodist Church, and her husband, Mik
e Crawford and grandchildren, Kara and Mark (Andrea) and great-grandson, Levi; a son, David Johansen, professor of trombone at Southeastern Louisiana University, his wife, Janiece Luedeke Johansen, and grandson, Ethan; and his daughter, Christina Johansen Kastell, curator of the Putnam Museum, Davenport.
She leaves a better world by inspiring many stroke survivors, with the music she has brought into the lives of many, and through her kindness as a representative of The United Methodist Church.
Memorial funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on August 1.
at Oakland Cemetery and are open to family and friends.
To share a thought, memory or condolences with his family, please visit the Gay & Ciha Funeral & Cremation Service website at www.gayandciha.com.