HARTLEY -- Helga Johnson, 97, of Hartley, died Monday, Jan. 30, 2006, at the Spencer Municipal Hospital in Spencer.
Helga VesGaard Johnson was born Sept. 21, 1908, in Bislev, Denmark, the 15th child of Morten and Kirsten VesGaard. She attended school in Nibe and immigrated to the United States at the age of 16 where she lived with her sister and brother-in-law Marn and Will Scambler for a time. In her early years she was employed with a restaurant in Aurelia.
On Feb. 9, 1927, Helga and Torval Johnson were united in marriage at Alta. To this union three sons were born, LeRoy, Duane and Gary. They farmed in the Alta and Hartley area for many years. In 1955 they retired from farming and moved to Hartley. At this time, Helga went to work at the Hartley Community School as a cook. She loved the people that she worked with and especially loved being around all of the children.
Torval "Tony" died Nov. 9, 1979, and Helga continued to live in her home until 2003. She moved to the Hartley Community Memorial Assisted Living Center where she lived until she died at the Spencer Hospital at the age of 97.
She was an avid gardener, loved to bake wonderful goodies, and could play endless card games. Throughout the years the little ones were always her favorite part of life.
Left to cherish her memory are two sons, LeRoy and his wife, Mavis of Hartley, and Duane and his wife, Doris of Spirit Lake; grandchildren Vicky and Jim Kilian of Sioux Falls, S.D., Connie and Kent Thompson of Forest City, Jerry and Dawn Johnson of Hartley, Jay and Lisa Johnson of Hartley, Diane Johnson of Fostoria, Dan and Seiko Johnson of Aaiwa, Hawaii, Jay and Barb Johnson of Fridley, Minn., Joel and Nikki Johnson of Le Mars, David and Catherine Johnson of Dallas, Texas, Debbie and Aaron Albright of Milford, and Amy and Brian Baier of Brandon, S.D.; 24 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Torval; a son Gary; brothers and sisters Pete, Jens, Mary, Andrew, John, Chris, Hilda, Elna, Dagmar, Kristine, Nels, Henry, Maren and Neils; four grandchildren Dawn, Debra, Denise and Timothy Johnson; and a great-grandson Joshua Johnson.
Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Hartley. The Rev. David Ericksen will officiate. Burial will follow at Pleasant View Cemetery in Hartley. Visitation will begin at 4 p.m. today (Friday) at the Hartley Funeral Home with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. There will also be one hour of visitation at the church prior to the funeral. The Mauer - Johnson Funeral Home in Le Mars, is in charge of arrangements. Pallbearers will be her grandsons.