Helen Inez Johnson was born in Long Beach, California, on August 6, 1923 to Earl and Inez Johnson. Helen was an only child.
She left home at the age of 18 to attend the University of California, Davis, also called the “University Farm”. Helen was one of a handful of pioneering women at the University. Her time there: however, was interrupted by World War II, when the university was taken over by the US Army Signal Corps. She subsequently transferred to the University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated in 1945 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Poultry Husbandry and Animal Pathology.
After college, Helen worked at Kimber Poultry Breeding Farms in Niles, Ca, and, later for the University of California in the radiation laboratory. In 1960-61 she received medical technology training at Letterman Army Hospital, becoming a board certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist. Her career took her many places including radioisotope work at the following hospitals: American River Hospital in Carmichael, CA; the U.S. Public Health Service Hospital in San Francisco, CA, and the U.S. Veterans Administration Hospital in San Francisco, CA. She retired from the Nuclear Medicine Department at Natividad Medical Hospital in Salinas, CA.
In her spare time, Helen was a devoted advocate for animals, and will be missed by her loving pet, Shorty, who is now in the capable hands of Andrea Darin.
Helen was a strong advocate for the Western Monarch butterfly, and sponsored the Monarch Alert Program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She also sponsored workshops with the Monarch Teacher Network at the Pacific Grove Museum of Natural History, Gilroy Gardens, and at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Newark, Ca.
Miss Johnson participated and/or funded conferences such as the Monarch Population Dynamics Conference in Lawrence, Kanas; the Western Monarch Symposium in Fremont, CA; “The Monarch Butterfly in Western North America”-a Cal Poly video production; and the 2006 Western Monarch Symposium in Pacific Grove, CA.
Additionally, Miss Johnson recognized the importance of bats, and
sponsored efforts by the Bat Conservation International
Organization including scholarships for the bat workshops
conducted by the Western section of the Wildlife Society.