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Maquoketa Man Donates Home

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A Maquoketa man making a special donation in honor of his nephew, who lost his life serving in Iraq.

Bobby Johnson's house used to sit empty on Jefferson Drive in Maquoketa.

"We're gonna start to make it into a Veterans Memorial Park for Jackson County, " said Johnson.

Johnson is sacrificing his property for his passion.  He wants to build a memorial that honors veterans and recognizes their sacrifices. It's recognition that he says is hard to find in Jackson County. 

"There's a plaque down at the court house and there might be a few other things," said Johnson.

Bobby Johnson's nephew lost his life while fighting in Iraq.  

I'm doing this in honor of my nephew who died march 11, 2005.  It's the appropriate spot because this is one of the two houses that were sort of home to him. After he died, I really didn't want to live here much anymore,"said Johnson.

The house has sat empty for about a year now.  Johnson says there's no better gift than to donate his land to the community.

"I think it will be the greatest thing because its for a good cause," said Johnson.

People from the community agree.

"I think that will be great and my husband was in the service. I told Bobby I would put a bench up for my husband as a memorial there too," said Bonnie Paul.

Johnson says his nephew was loving and generous and would be overjoyed with the idea of honoring those who served. 

"My nephew was a special person.  He loved motorcycles.  He was one of the mellowest people I knew. He didn't fight.  He never smoked. One time he tried to drink and he got really sick," he said.

When asked what kind of vets will be remembered here, he responded, "Any vet is honored here."

 



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