Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home & Hillcrest Mausoleum & Memorial Park
7405 West Northwest Highway, Dallas, TX
Helen Adele Murray Johnson
September 28, 1928 – September 6, 2019
Born September 28, 1928, in Houston, Texas, died peacefully at home Friday, September 6, 2019, at the age of 90. Preceded in death by her devoted husband, James William Johnson, and loving parents, William H and Mary Adele Lockart Murray. The matriarch of her family, she is survived by her son James W. Johnson, Jr. and wife Marjorie of Georgia; daughter Molly Ann and husband Mark Smith of Texas; and daughter Shelley Lou and husband Scott Verrei of Texas; Six grandchildren: Kevin Johnson and wife Ashley; Kurt Johnson and wife Melissa; Allyson Smith Schulz and husband Chad; Madyson Smith Flint and husband Dalton; Jamie Verrei Williams and husband Justin; Jenna Verrei Sands and husband Dylan; and seven great- grandchildren.
Beloved as Mum to her family and loyal friend to so many, she will be greatly missed by all. Growing up in Houston, Helen Adele was a graduate of San Jacinto High School being named “Most Representative Girl” of the class of 1945. Her education continued at The University of Texas, where she was an active member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority, graduating with honors in 1949. While attending The University in 1948, she met the love of her life, James William Johnson, whom she married August 27, 1949. Upon his graduation, the young couple moved to Beaumont, Texas, where James began his 36 year engineering career with Sun Oil and the two of them began their family. While in Beaumont, they were blessed with their three children and were involved with church and community activities associated with a growing family.
In 1964, the family transferred to the Philadelphia, PA, suburbs where her love of children was extended to those she taught in the Tredyfferin-Easttown School District. Upon returning to Texas in 1976, she continued teaching at Prestonwood Elementary in RISD, until retirement in 1987. She was awarded the Texas Congress of PTA, the same award presented to her 20 years earlier as a parent. In their retirement years, James and Helen Adele enjoyed extensive traveling around the world. A woman of great faith, a founding member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Beaumont and current member of Church of the Holy Communion, she was an active member of every church she attended, serving on vestry as well as a variety of ministries, including altar guild and lay readers. In October of 2006, Helen Adele and husband James became “pioneers” moving to the newly built Highland Springs Retirement Community in Dallas. There she extended her calling to serve in this new community by establishing, chairing and serving on numerous committees including philanthropic, student scholarship, and welcoming, as well as being elected to the Resident Advisory Committee. For her involvement in the community life, she was awarded the first annual Outstanding Leader Award.
She loved to entertain and cook for others, always true to her motto “treat your guests like family”. Even at age 90 she was a true steel-magnolia, a gracious southern lady and a force to be reckoned with. However, foremost always was her love and devotion to her husband and family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in her memory to the Highland Springs Scholarship fund or American Heart Association. Visitation will be from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Thursday, September 12, 2019, at Sparkman/Hillcrest. Funeral service will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 13, 2019, at Church of the Holy Communion, 17405 Muirfield Drive, Dallas. A private burial will follow.
- Helen Adele Murray Johnson Thursday, September 12, 2019
- Helen Adele Murray Johnson Friday, September 13, 2019