Helen Johnson

Helen Louise DeWolf Johnson passed away on February 22, 2012 in Grand Island, Nebraska after a short illness.

On October 6, 1925 a baby girl was born to Harry and Cora DeWolfe on their ranch located in the Northwest corner of Sheridan County. This baby girl’s arrival was witnessed by her 2 half brothers, Gerald and Wendell, her 2 half sisters Evelyn and Dorothy and her sister Margaret.

Harry and Cora named their baby girl Helen Louise and Helen would eventually be joined in the DeWolf family by one brother James and four sisters: Vera, Alice, Frances and Vesta. The family’s ranch was located approximately 15 miles northwest of Gordon, Nebraska and only a few miles from the Nebraska / South Dakota boarder.

Helen Attended country schools through the 8th grade and in the fall of 1939 she and her sister Margaret came to Gordon and enrolled in Gordon High School. Helen and Margaret graduated from Gordon High School in the spring of 1943 and then traveled to Denver to work in a secretarial position at the Singer Sewing Machine Co. At some point during this time period, Helen met Harley Dell Johnson and the two would be married on Saturday, September 9, 1944 in Hot Springs, South Dakota.

Following the war, Harley and Helen moved to Gordon and took up residence in a small house they purchased from Herald Epson at 517 North Spruce Street and it was there they would reside together until Harley’s death on July 23, 1986. Helen continued to live at 517 Spruce Street until earlier this year. All told, Helen would live on the corner of 6th and Spruce streets for over 65 years.

During Harley and Helen’s 42 years of married life, they would welcome the birth of 7 children, 4 boys and 3 girls. Their first-born was Dennis, followed by Gary, Randy and Kevin. Kevin would only live for 3 days. Their 3 girls, Kerri, Kristi and Kammi followed Kevin’s birth in the mid-fifties.

Helen loved to work a garden. Nothing made her happier than to spend endless hours planting, cultivating and harvesting her garden. It was in her garden that she found peace, joy and contentment. In addition to growing her vegetables, she loved her flowers and especially her tulips. In addition to her garden in Gordon, she would often plant and harvest a garden on her parents place northwest of town. Helen was also a life-long seamstress. Her particular treasure was designing and creating denim quilts. She was always starting on a new sewing project and her finished works of art will be hand-me-down treasures for generations to come.

Helen is preceded in death by her parents Harry and Cora, her husband Harley, her brother Jim and her sons Dennis, Gary and Kevin.

She is survived by son Randy of Ainsworth, Daughters Kerri of Wagoner, South Dakota, Kristi of Cody, Nebraska and Kammi of Garden City, Kansas. 13 Grandchildren, 17 Great Grandchildren, 5 sisters: Margaret of Pharr, Tx, Vera, Frances and Alice of Gordon and Vesta of Ellsworth.

Services were held at the Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home on Monday February 27 at 1:30 p.m. Celebrant Harlen Wheeler officiating. Burial was in the Gordon Cemetery.

Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

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