Helen Withers Johnson, 77, born in Wheelock, Vermont, on March 14th, 1942, died on January 19, 2020, in Colchester, Vermont. Helen passed away peacefully at her home and surrounded by her family.
Helen grew up in Sheffield, Vermont. As a young woman she joined the Army and served as a medic until she returned home to care for her ill mother and raise her youngest siblings. She worked jobs as a seamstress, potato farmhand, security guard, woodworker, and elder caregiver, among many others. She lived in North Carolina and on the Passamaquoddy Pleasant Point Reservation in Eastport, Maine; otherwise, she called Vermont her home.
She was most proud of her two kids BJ and Vince, her 33-years sobriety, her time as an Army medic, being the first woman to work at a local sawmill in town, and her choices to give safe homes to rescued cats. She had a tender heart which she got from her mother and taught to her children. Family was everything to Helen, and she could often be found in the role of making hard sacrifices in the name of love. She taught her kids to hunt, track, fish, identify edible plants, drive, and cause trouble; they loved her like the magical gift she was to them. She wielded a magnetic personality, was fierce and feisty, and was a loyal and rowdy friend to many. She was an avid bingo and card player, a great book-reader, and an opinionated cook. She was a terrible singer who loved to sing. She howled at the full moon. She loved sowing sweet pea flowers that reminded her of her Grammy Taylor and gladiolus flowers that reminded her of her mother Ione Norway. She was a fisherman, a hunter, an animal lover, a self-proclaimed “tree-hugger” and a conservationist at heart. She was a grand story-teller with many life stories to share. She took pride in being unconventional and “keeping them on their toes”. Helen was a battler. Some battles took her 77 years to win, but she conquered every one.
Helen is survived by her beloved daughter BJ Farman, daughter-in-law Elle, sister-in-law Pat, five siblings, her twin’s children Margret and Rusty, and many more nieces and nephews, granddaughter Tosha, and great-grandchildren Harper, Dylan, and Oaklynn. Helen was predeceased by her beloved son Vincent Farman, her twin Lanie Masure, her parents, and many other family members.
Memorial services will be held in Lyndonville Saturday, February 15th, at 1 p.m. at Guibord-Pearsons Funeral Home with Pastor Sally May officiating. Helen pre-arranged all music selections and asked for attendees to dress casually in jeans, the color purple, and/or shirts with wolves or patriotic symbols. Burial in Danville Green Cemetery will be private and held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, Helen asked for donations in her name to be sent to the American Legion Auxiliary Milton Unit #57 at 2 Legion Road, P.O. Box 584, Milton, VT 05468.
Private online condolences may be shared with the family at www.guibordfh.com. Guibord Funeral home is located on the corner of Main and Center Streets, Lyndonville.