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Helen Parmer Johnson, 89 of Norphlet, Arkansas, went to be with her heavenly father on Monday, July 27, 2020 at the Medical Center of South Arkansas.

Helen was born February 7, 1931 in Hermleigh, Texas to the late Jack and Lela Wilcox Parmer.

She is preceded in death by her loving parents, her sister Joyce Williams, her grandson Lee Randall Ross and her devoted husband Joe Edwin Johnson.

Mamaw, as she was known to her family, was a child of the great depression when times were extremely hard on all. She grew up mostly in the west Texas area with her family moving several times as her Dad would find various jobs. In the late 1940’s they moved to Stephens, Arkansas where she graduated as Valedictorian of her class in 1949. Helen then attended college in Magnolia, graduating with a teaching degree from Southern State College in 1953. During that time she met her devoted husband Joe with whom she spent 61 years together until his passing. After first being a stay at home Mom to four daughters she began her education career as an English teacher at Norphlet while also working on and eventually completing her Master’s Degree from Henderson State. She retired from Norphlet as a high school counselor in 1991 but no long after worked as a career counselor at South Ark Community College.

Devoted is one of many words that described Helen Johnson. As a 67 year old member of the Norphlet United Methodist Church she was always willing to take on any church task asked of her. She was extremely involved with the United Methodist Women serving in many official capacities, as well as a Sunday School teacher for the adult ladies. She prayed daily for her church, community and her family. She was very involved in community activities especially with her students and co-workers at school. When it came to her family everyone knew they were loved and were special to “Mamaw”. She and Joe were at every event their daughters participated in and when the grandchildren began playing sports she made sure they went to as many games as they could, sometimes leaving one ball field in one town to travel to see another game in another town. They were devoted to letting their families know that they were loved.

Helen is survived by her four daughters, Susan Lester (Billy) of El Dorado, Louise Ross (Randy) of Norphlet, Jeannie Mills (Rod) of Norphlet and Joy Bowen (Greg) of Norphlet. Eleven Grandchildren; Lance Lester, Alice Daw, Clay Mills (Shasta), Pete Mills (BreAnna), Cannon Lester (Amy), Caleb Lester, Jake Bowen, Paige Lester, Anna Fairris (Drew), Darren Bowen (Christina), Eli Lester (Morgan). Nine Great Grandchildren; Kim Hubertus, Autumn Mills, Aidan Ross, Carson Mills, Hayes Lester, Molly Mills, Steele Lester, Luke Mills and Jax Mills. Three siblings; Jerold Parmer (Polly), Evanelle Hart, Carl Parmer (Diane).

A private family graveside service will be held at Rest Haven Cemetery under the direction of Young’s Funeral Directors. In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial donations to be made to the Norphlet United Methodist Church-building fund, P.O. Box 28, Norphlet, Arkansas 71759.

Condolences may be made online at

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