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home : obituaries : gn December 17, 2014


3/5/2014 3:24:00 PM
Helen Johnson

Helen K. Johnson, age 97, of Rice Lake, WI died on Thursday, February 27, 2014 at Country Terrace Assisted Living in Rice Lake. Helen Kohel Johnson was born on May 24, 1916 to Joseph and Dora
(Kust) Kohel.
Mrs. Johnson, a native of Haugen, graduated from Rice Lake High School in 1935. She attended Barron County Normal School where she received her teaching certificate. She later married Walter Johnson, of Rice Lake.
In 1936, she taught grades K-8 at local area country schools. Mrs. Johnson also taught at Haugen, teaching grades 4-6, Canton, grades 1-4, Brill, teaching grades 1-4, and Spooner Hamill Elementary School, teaching first grade.
During this time, Helen attended night classes and summer sessions and received her bachelor of science degree from University of Wisconsin, Superior. She then took a position at Barron County Teachers College, teaching college courses including Reading Techniques. She supervised and taught grades 1-8 in the Campus Demonstration Room. Other teaching experience included grade 1 at Franklin Elementary and teaching at University of Wisconsin, Superior. Mrs. Johnson was a member of the first graduating class to receive master's degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire.
While employed at UW-Superior, she attended classes receiving her certification in guidance counseling. She joined Rice Lake School System in 1968, employed as a high school guidance counselor and Student Council advisor from 1971 to 1977, retiring in 1980.
Helen enjoyed her retirement years raising beef cattle with her husband, making maple syrup, playing Yahtzee with her grandchildren and playing cards when time permitted. She and Walter hosted toboggan parties for area youth groups at their farm near Hardscrabble. Her retirement years also included promoting education and the importance of reading while working with or tutoring her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Helen is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Bonnie and Don (Sonny) Richter, of Rice Lake; a son and daughter-in-law, Duane and Lenore Johnson, of Rice Lake, WI; six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Johnson, in 2003; and a great-grandson, Jake Walter Nicklaus.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Rice Lake, Father James Powers officiating. Visitation will be held from 10:00 until 11:00 a.m. at the church on March 12. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Appleyard's Home for Funerals.

Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014
Article comment by: Cindy Dukes

Dear Bonnie, Duane, & Families, Your mother was a very loving lady that I only wished I had been able to visit much more than the few times we made the 2000 mile trip from Delaware. My dad, your uncle, loved her dearly and spoke of her often. My sincere sympathy to all of you. Your cousin, Cindy Kohel Dukes & Family

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