Helen L. Johnson, age 92, of Waupaca, passed away on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at Lakeview Manor in Weyauwega.
Helen was born November 20, 1920 in Waupaca, daughter of Myron and Sarah (Wilson) Harrington. She graduated from Waupaca High School in 1939 and soon after from beauty school in Appleton. She started her career in Marshfield, but her husband-to-be missed her and asked Helen to move back home, so she returned and worked for several years at Vernae Beauty Salon in Waupaca. Helen married David C. Johnson on January 25, 1941 and they raised four children: David L. (Janet), Karen M. (Richard) Pirk, Lowell G. (Debi), and Cheryl S.(Tom) Lightholder. In 1964, Helen returned to work at the Grand Army Home in King. For a short time she worked in the kitchen there but was soon hired in the beauty salon. For 22 years she worked hard, performing countless perms and sets. She and a co-worker fought for equal rights/equal pay in the 1970s and won. Helen was particularly proud of this accomplishment. Just before their retirement her beloved Dave passed away and she spent the next 33 years missing him.
A master craftswoman there were few things Helen couldn’t accomplish in the arts of embroidery, knitting, candlemaking or ceramics. She had this insatiable creative energy that she put into everything. Helen loved word puzzles, the Packers, and listening to Daniel O’Donnell, the Irish folk singer. She loved Mother Nature and spent many, many hours watching the birds outside her porch window. When she went to high school in town, Helen had to work for her room and board at the Hutchinson House; but work was always her friend. She never had idle hands.
Many of her dearest friends passed before her including Eva Townsend, Mae Sosinske, Ramona Danielson and Marjorie Hansen. But, it was her family that preceded her she missed the most: her mother and father and George Redmann who raised Helen and her siblings as his own when Sarah remarried in 1937 after her father, Myron was killed in an accident. Helen’s brother Myron H. and sister Marie (Zickus) died months apart in 2006 and left her deeply saddened by their loss. Helen also lost a grandson, Donald Pirk in 2008. Her legacy remains with 11 grandchildren, l8 great-grandchildren, nephews and nieces and her children who will miss her every day. A true life wears the best – and mom’s was beautiful. In remembrance of Helen, any memorials should be directed to Crystal Lake United Methodist Church.
Funeral Services will be held at the Holly Funeral Home in Waupaca at 12:00 PM (Noon) on Tuesday, September 24th, 2013, with Pastor Jeffrey S. Fletcher, officiating. Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 10 AM until the time of the service at the funeral home. Interment will be at Lakeside Memorial Park in Waupaca.