Helen Maxine McGlade Johnson

Posted September 26, 2012 at 11:22 am


Sept. 7, 1915 – Sept. 19, 2012

Helen Maxine McGlade Johnson, a life-long resident of the Hopkinton area, died Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2012, in her home. 

Visitation was held on Friday, Sept. 21, from 5-7 p.m. at Goettsch Funeral Home, Monticello.

A celebration of life was held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012, at Hopkinton Community Church, with interment in the Hopkinton Cemetery. 

Helen was born Sept. 7, 1915 on the family century farm, approximately two miles east of Hopkinton.  Helen was the youngest of three daughters, born to Mary Margaret Hale and Maxwell Hugh McClurkin McGlade. 

She graduated from Hopkinton schools in 1933 and Lenox College in 1935.  She subsequently attended Iowa State Teachers College, now the University of Northern Iowa. 

She began her 25-year teaching career in Delaware County, at the age of 18.  She taught in a rural one-room school, north of Manchester, for two years, then four years each in Dundee and Winthrop.  After marriage, she taught one year in a rural school, and followed by Hopkinton and Maquoketa Valley School Districts.  Her career duties included being an elementary through high school teacher, principal, girl’s basketball coach, and music teacher.  She was teaching junior high when she retired in 1961. 

She married Walter Vego Johnson of Manchester during a short naval leave.  They were married July 6, 1945 in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Hopkinton.  They engaged in farming on the family farm until 1954, when Walter’s disability forced them to leave the farm and move to Hopkinton.  After retirement from teaching, she was fully occupied caring for her husband until his death in 1977. 

Helen enjoyed life.  She was a vocalist, singing solos and in groups in church and  social organizations.  Her home was always open to guests whose visits were appreciated.  She enjoyed gardening, bird watching, entertaining friends and her family century farm.  She enjoyed travel beginning in 1923 and 1925, when her family joined other families on trips to the western National parks in a house built on the rear of a truck.  In her later years, she made numerous trips with friends and relatives to virtually every state in the United States.  Thursdays were reserved for the Walkers who traveled all of Eastern Iowa visiting sites and restaurants, tending the Lenox College Memorial Garden, playing cards, eating and laughing.  She was an ardent University of Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball fan.  Later in life she became a passionate Chicago Cubs fan.

  Helen was active in the Hopkinton community.  She was a member of the Hopkinton First United Church, Presbyterian Women Organization, Progressive Farmers (Country) Club, Clio Club, Kill Kare Club, Walkers Club and Delaware County Historic Society.

  Survivors include one son, Walter Hugh Johnson of Des Moines; “like family friends”, the Lynn and Phyllis Chesnut family of Hopkinton; a brother-in-law, Raymond Stevenson of Ann Arbor, Mich.; one nephew, Paul Stevenson; four nieces, Linda Stevenson Brown, Linda Spaight Savage, Diane Spaight Gienapp and Roseanne Spaight Elick; and her many friends.

  She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter; two sisters, Beth Finley and Ruth Stevenson; and a sister-in-law, Mildred Spaight.

Thoughts, memories and condolences may be left at www.goettschonline.com.

For the caring and assistance in the last several years, Helen asked that Phyllis Chesnut, Louaine Karkow and Colleen Andersen of Above and Beyond, Susan Roling, and her physician,  Katie Book be publicly thanked.