Helen Johnson Artz Richter
1922 ~ 2013
Our beloved mom passed away March 2, 2013 in Tarzana, California.
Helen Ora was born to Nita and Oral Johnson January 12, 1922.
Her early childhood was spent on a farm in Jacksonville, Illinois. She left at age 12 to attend high school in "the city", and later graduated from Illinois State University at Bloomington where she won awards for poetry reading and intramural debate. She also won rave reviews for her dramatic portrayal of "The Lady of Bath". She had two sisters who preceded her in death, Oma Byus and Mary Ellen Mason.
During World War II she married Captain Donald Duane Artz, a pilot with the Pioneer Mustang Division of the Army Air Force. After the war, Helen taught school while he completed medical school and established his office at Hollywood and Vine as "Doctor to the Stars". They enjoyed the Southern California lifestyle, dancing and dining at the Moulin Rouge and Coconut Grove, with side trips to Palm Springs and Las Vegas. Helen was dedicated to teacher training and classroom training. Together they had two daughters, Reta Oram (Keith) and Darlene Smith. Duane preceded her in death.
She remarried in 1972 to Raymond Harlow Richter, a production manager on the SR-71 and L1011 projects at Lockheed. They were very active in the Lutheran Church, and enjoyed numerous tours and cruises in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Middle East. After retiring from a 30 year career with the Los Angeles school district, Helen was active in volunteer work with the church thrift store and individual tutoring of children. Ray passed away in 2001. Helen was a master's level bridge player and virtuoso pianist. Her favorite activities included teaching piano to her grandchildren, Amber Smith and Kelsey Katro, and their friends.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold the new has come. " 2 Corinthians 5:17