Cover photo for Helen Johnson's Obituary
Helen Johnson Profile Photo
1918 Helen 2013

Helen Johnson

November 19, 1918 — January 13, 2013

Funeral services for Helen Johnson, of Ortonville, will be held on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at First English Lutheran Church in Ortonville, beginning at 1:30 p.m. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service.

Helen Edna(Bonk)Johnson was born on November 19, 1918, in Silver Creek, Nebraska. She was third oldest of 13 children born to Ignatious (Joe) and Edna (Konieczy) Bonk. Helen passed away at Northridge Residence in Ortonville, Minnesota on January 13, 2013, having reached the age of 94 years. She had been a resident of Northridge since January, 2007.

When Helen was a small child her family moved to rural Appleton, Minnesota. Helen attended Swift County Country School #69 and graduated from Appleton High School in 1937. Helen enjoyed attending her 70th Class Reunion in May, 2007. After graduation she worked at the Leader Department Store in Appleton and then for the Commercial Credit Corporation in Fargo, ND.

Helen married Alvin L. Johnson, Sr. on November 21, 1941; they lived in Appleton, moving to Chicago during the war, and then back to Appleton. In late 1953 they moved to Ortonville. This marriage ended in divorce in 1961 but, due to Helen's loving kindness, she always included Al, Sr. in the lives of their children, for which they are forever grateful.

Helen worked as a bookkeeper for several businesses in Ortonville, as secretary for Sealey & O'Neill Real Estate, and office manager for Tri-County Land Company and Federal Crop Insurance. In 1981, Helen bought the rights to Federal Crop Insurance for Lac Qui Parle County. She drove to her office in Madison, Minnesota for six years before selling the business. Helen then worked for Federal Crop Insurance at the State level as a consultant, trainer, and mentor. With mixed feelings, Helen retired in July 1991 at the age of 72. Helen loved her work and excelled at it; she had the trust and respect of the many farmers she worked with in Big Stone and Lac Qui Parle Counties.

Helen was a member of First English Lutheran Church. In her younger days she was a member of the Altar Guild and Circle and helped when and where she could. Her children and her job occupied pretty much 100% of her time, and she would say they were her two greatest accomplishments. Her family was everything to her… she loved to cook their favorites…which were many, as she was a wonderful cook! Helen loved to tend to her flower gardens and her yard, the efforts of which were appreciated by many who drove around the corner by her house which was across from the pier.

Helen is survived by her children: Rita (Richard) Verheul of Ortonville; Karen (Greg) Saeger of Sioux Falls; Al (Lynda) Johnson, Jr. of Ortonville; and Peggy (Walt) Freiberg of Sioux Falls; her grandchildren: Noelle (Norman) Haukos; Nate (Amanda) Saeger; Matt (Taylor) Verheul; Ben Johnson, and Tony Johnson; her great – grandchildren: Evan and Dylan Saeger, and Boden Verheul; her sisters: Louise (Harvey) Schlueter, Janette Rheingans, Margaret Wederath, Marie Zalusky, Joan (Dick) Wederath, and Katherine (Roger) Mahoney; her brother, David (Anne) Bonk; and many nieces and nephews.

Helen is preceded in death by her infant children: Judy, Ronald, and Robert; her beloved son, Jim, who passed away in January of 2008; her parents, Joe and Edna Bonk; her siblings: Frank, Albert, Dorothy, Valeria, and Marian; and nieces, Jane Schlueter and Kathy (Schlueter) Vroman.

Blessed be the memory of Helen Johnson, the best mother in the world.

Visitation

First English Lutheran Church
9 - 3rd St. NW
Ortonville, MN 56278

Saturday, January 19, 2013
12:30 PM

Service

First English Lutheran Church
9 - 3rd St. NW
Ortonville, MN 56278

Saturday, January 19, 2013
1:30 PM

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