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Helen D. Johnson

Helen Elizabeth Johnson (nee Davidson), 98, died Thursday, April 18, 2013 at Welcome Nursing Home in Oberlin, due to complications from a stroke.

Born January 17, 1915 in Camden Township, to the late Robert J. and Maude E. (nee Geist) Davidson, Helen lived almost her entire life in Lorain County. She graduated from Camden High School in 1932 and then attended Oberlin School of Commerce. After graduation she became a personal secretary to Harvey Firestone, Sr., president of the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company in Akron. At the Cleveland Exposition in 1936, she competed in a beauty pageant as "Miss Firestone Bank". She moved back to Oberlin where she worked at Oberlin Buick.

In the spring of 1942 she took a job at Bendix-Westinghouse Automotive Air Brake Company in Elyria as secretary to Stephen Johnson, Jr. They were married in Wakeman on October 21 of that year. They were happily married for more than 45 years. They moved from Elyria to Oberlin and purchased a home on Oak Street where she lived for the next 61 years.

Helen was active in the Oberlin Hospital Auxiliary and served as treasurer for 25 years and as co-manager of the hospital gift shop. She also helped with organizing the hospital bazaars. She was a member of First Church in Oberlin, Oberlin Senior Forum, and the Oak Street Athletic Club Auxiliary. She was an endowed life member of the Oberlin Heritage Center, receiving its Heritage Guardian Award in 2008 for publishing her autobiography Times Remembered or What Happened to a Farmer's Daughter. She was also a member of local bridge clubs for over 50 years. She and Steve were charter members of the Suburban Club.

Helen enjoyed gardening, sewing, and knitting. She was an expert at solving word puzzles. She was a voracious reader, filling several journals with the titles she had read. She especially liked a good mystery. She visited many countries in Europe, England being her favorite. She made many trips to Alaska. There were trips all across the United States, the Caribbean, and the Hawaiian Islands. She and Steve also took a Pacific cruise that took them as far as Australia.

She is survived by her daughter, Cheryl Mees of Georgetown, Texas (husband Rodney); son, Stephen Johnson III of Oberlin (wife Mary Ann); sister, Mynne Coven of Conway, Arkansas; brother, Calvin Davidson of Camden Township. She leaves seven grandchildren; nine great grandchildren; and one great great grandchild.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Stephen Johnson, Jr. in 1988; daughter, Andrea Rose; step daughter, Stephanie Neal; granddaughter, Patricia Neal; parents, Robert and Maude Davidson; brother, Robert Davidson, Jr.; and sisters, Muriel Oliphant and Lucille Hecock.

Burial in Camden Cemetery will be private. A memorial service will be held Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 2 P.M., at First Church in Oberlin, with Reverend David Hill officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to "Oberlin Heritage Center Endowment for History Education", Oberlin Heritage Center, P.O. Box 455, Oberlin, OH 44074.

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