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Helen Frances (Johnson) Lundwall
July 13, 1926 ~ May 14, 2023 (age 96) 96 Years Old
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Helen Johnson Lundwall left this earth to be with Jesus on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2023. She was here ninety-six years and 10 months, a long, full life.
Helen was born July 13, 1926 in Blossom, Texas to George and Minnie (Roe) Johnson. The family moved to Silver City when her father became manager of the Community Public Service Company in 1930. She graduated from Western High School in 1944. She was a member of the Order of Rainbow and was Worthy Adviser 1943-44. She attended New Mexico State Teacher’s College (now Western NM Uni.) but didn’t finish a degree because she met her husband-to-be Max Leroy Lundwall, when the flyboys stationed at the U.S. Army Air Corps Bombardier’s School in Deming would come up to Silver City to dances sponsored by the Woman’s Club on weekends. They married June 17, 1944 and their only child, Linda, was born in July, 1945. When the war was over, Lee took the family to his home in North Hollywood, CA. In 1947, Lee went back into the service and became a career officer, retiring in Dec. 1963. When they lived in Lake Charles, Helen took business college courses. The two times Lee went overseas Helen and Linda moved home to Silver City. Both times she worked at the Silver City Public Library. After Lee retired at the end of 1963, they moved back to Silver City permanently. Helen took correspondence courses and passed the New Mexico State Librarian’s Exam and became a certified librarian. She became Library Director in 1975 and retired in 1986. During her tenure she was instrumental in setting up the library’s historical collections, including biographies of early settlers in Southwest New Mexico. Helen loved the history of this area and published historical articles for the Silver City Daily Press. She published two books: Pioneering in Territorial New Mexico. H.B. Ailman’s Recollections of Silver City and the Southwest 1871-1892, and Copper Mining in Santa Rita, NM 1801-1836. She was a member of the First Baptist Church most of her life, from the time the family moved here, then every time she moved back.
Helen is survived by her daughter, Linda and son-in-law, Thomas Brake. A Celebration of Life service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Silver City at eleven o’clock in the morning Friday, May 19th, 2023.