Helen Johnson (GRG Gallery)
|Birth:||20 July 1896|
|Death:||17 April 2008|
Portland, Oregon, United States
|Age:||111 years, 272 days|
Helen Martha Wilhelmena Johnson (née Minx; 20 July 1896 – 17 April 2008) was a German-American supercentenarian whose age has been validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG).
Helen Johnson was born Helen Martha Wilhelmena Minx in Berlin, Germany, on 20 July 1896 as the eldest of two children. She moved with her family to Portland, Oregon, USA, at the age of six but still spoke German at home. As a teenager, she worked at a printing shop where she met her first husband, Carl Dahlstrom, whom she married at 18.
Carl and Helen had two children together: Doris (1925-1975) and Robert (1927-2007). Carl passed away in the 1930s. The following decade, Helen married firefighter Soren Johnson, and their marriage lasted for around 30 years before Soren died in the 1970s.
While her children were attending school, Johnson worked as a cook, and later as a hairdresser and teacher at a beauty school. After her second husband’s death, she lived alone until the 1990s, when she moved into a nursing home. Johnson never had a driver’s license, preferring to walk or take the bus.
Johnson’s mind was reportedly still sharp as a centenarian. She played bridge regularly throughout her life, and embarrassed family members with jokes on her 110th birthday. She was validated by the Gerontology Research Group on 23 July 2006, three days after her 110th birthday.
Johnson passed away in Portland, Oregon on 17 April 2008, aged 111 years, 272 days. She was survived by six grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.