Helen F. Johnson, age 89, a resident of Brighton Gardens in Wheaton (and formerly of Winfield, IL, and St. Louis, MO) passed away after a long illness on Saturday, January 26, 2013, at her home in Wheaton. She was born Helen Matilda Ferrell in High Point, North Carolina on July 26, 1923.
Helen was a 1940 graduate of High Point Senior High School and later attended Jones Business College for one year in High Point. A lover of fine furniture, one of her first jobs was as secretary for the Heritage Furniture Company in High Point. During World War II, Helen was a USO hostess on weekends. When the war ended in 1945, she and a close friend moved to St. Louis. There she began a career that spanned 35+ years across several divisions of the Federal Government -- as a civilian in the Department of the Army, the Social Security Administration and the Department of Defense. In 1981, as a personnel staffing specialist for the Defense Mapping Agency, Helen received an award from the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped for her distinguished work in the placement of disabled employees. In 1985, she was one of only five individuals to receive an Employer of the Year award from the St. Louis County Special School District for her contributions that advanced the lives of the disabled.
Helen was preceded in death by her mother (Georgia Evabell Miller), her father (Sherrell Richardson Ferrell), her two brothers (Sherrell Richardson Ferrell, Jr. and James Edmond Ferrell) and her husband (Walter Albert Johnson). She is survived by her sister Frances Evabell Ferrell Rogers, daughter Diane Johnson (Steve) Bense, son Mark Elliott Johnson (Tom Samp), two grandsons (Nicholas Albert Johnson and Kirk Andrew Johnson) and extended family members.
A memorial visitation will be held on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 from 4:00 p.m. until the time of a memorial service to be held at 7:00 p.m. at Hultgren Funeral Home, 304 N. Main St., in Wheaton, IL. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be directed to the Greater Chicago Food Depository at www.chicagosfoodbank.org or other charities that provide much-needed care and services to people and animals in need.