Helen D. LaCrosse
May 18, 1928 – Dec 25, 2017
Helen D. LaCrosse
Helena Dorotea Johnson was born in Tennant, California on May 18, 1928. She was the first child of Swedish immigrants, Gust and Anna Johnson. Her father and uncle worked together in Tennant building logging roads, and their families were very close. Helen and her cousin MaryAnn were near in age, and they were dear friends throughout their lives. The two families moved together from Tennant to Klamath Falls, Oregon, then to Longview and Bremerton, Washington. Helen was a proud and protective big-sister to her brother Carl, who was born in 1932. Helen graduated from Bremerton High School in 1946 and attended Olympic Jr. College.
Helen learned to play the violin at an early age, and by high school she was playing in orchestras, at community dances, and on the local radio. Helen continued to play violin throughout her life, and fostered a love of music in her children and grandchildren.
Helen met Edward LaCrosse through a mutual friend, and they were married on March 16th, 1950. They celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary in 2017. One of Helen's favorite pastimes was fishing, and she and Ed spent countless hours together on lakes and rivers in Washington and on trips to Alaska to fish with MaryAnn and her husband, Edwin.
Their first daughter, Annamarie, was born on August 24th, 1951, and their second daughter, Patricia (Patti), was born on November 12th, 1953. Their son, Edward (Eddie), was born on May 25th, 1962. While Ed completed his Masters and Doctoral degrees, Helen worked as a mother and home-maker. She utilized the carpentry skills she learned from her father to build a playhouse, covered wagon with saw-horses, and a working wooden carousel for the children. She delighted neighbors and friends with innovative holiday displays, Smorgasboards, and luaus.
The family moved often for Ed's education and career and lived around the Puget Sound area and in New Jersey, New York, California, Nebraska, and South Dakota. Wherever they lived, Helen made a point to bring the family home to the Seattle area almost every summer to visit Lake Philips and spend time with family.
Helen loved to travel and in addition to their cross-country road trips to Seattle the family took many memorable vacations. Later in life, Helen and Ed took cruises with friends and traveled with their children and grandchildren across Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska. Helen made two trips to Sweden in her life, once as a child in 1932, and again in 1991 with her sister-in-law, Annalena.
Helen will be remembered through the many traditions she passed on to her children and grandchildren, who knew her as MorMor. Helen's favorite tradition was the Swedish celebration of Saint Lucia, in which children wear crowns of candles and serve special treats to their families. All four of Helen's grandchildren served her Lucia over the years, and her great grandchildren Analina, Jackson, and Helena had the opportunity to participate as well. Granddaughters Jennifer and Joanna served Helen her final Lucia on December 13th of this year, and despite her declining health, she enjoyed the celebration.
Helen passed away Christmas night, December 25th, after a gradual decline in health. In the months preceding her death, she enjoyed daily visits from family and friends, and the company of her roommate. She was preceded in death by her brother, Carl, daughter Patti, and son Eddie. She is survived by her husband, Edward, daughter, Annamarie (Dan), four grandchildren, Joshua, Jamie (Nathan), Jennifer (Zachary), and Joanna (Jason), and five great-grandchildren, Analina, Gabriel, Jackson, Helena, and Mackenzie, and sister-in-law Annalena Johnson.
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