Hyde Park resident Helen Pomerance Johnson passed away at age 96 on August 19, 2015, from complications of heart disease. Her husband, Herman Frithjof Johnson, predeceased her.
Ms. Johnson served 35 years as a physical education teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, including Sawyer, Nightingale, Parker, and Pasteur Schools. She received the BE from Chicago Teachers College, and MA from Northwestern University.
Ms. Johnson was a pioneer in bicycle touring and hostelling, leading 15 summer-long trips through the U.S, Europe, and Japan. She completed two around-the-world trips to study physical education, and joined a hiking group in Nepal when she was 60.
“Helen had a superb ability to organize, and an old-fashioned work ethic,” said her niece Lynne Attaway of Knoxville, TN. “Consequently, she soon became a committee chairperson and often president of any organization she was involved with, whether it was related to her occupation, her avocations, or her coop apartment living.”
Ms. Johnson was active in community leadership, serving as officer of the American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation; The Suder Club for women physical education teachers; the Retired Teachers’ Association of Chicago; Hostelling International, serving on state, national, and international boards; and many folk dance groups in Hyde Park, both international and Israeli. She organized many folk dance camps. She volunteered for more than 30 years at the Museum of Science and Industry and gave more than 3000 hours of service.
Interment was private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hostelling International USA, 8401 Colesville Rd, Ste 600, Silver Spring, MD 20910, or the Museum of Science and Industry, 5700 S Lake Shore Dr, Chicago, IL 60637.