Cover photo for Helen Ruth Johnson's Obituary
Helen Ruth Johnson Profile Photo

Helen Ruth Johnson

May 6, 1921 — March 4, 2024


Helen Ruth Kuoni Johnson, 102, and lifelong resident of Marysville, KS, died peacefully on March 4, 2024 at Cambridge Place, her residence for about five years.

Visitation was Tuesday, March 12, from 1-9 p.m. at Kinsley Mortuary in Marysville.

A funeral service was held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 13, at Kinsley Mortuary.  Burial followed in the Marysville City Cemetery.

Helen was born May 6, 1921, to Arthur John and Hilda Mary (Olson) Kuoni, was the third generation of the Kuoni family in Marysville, her grandparents being Jacob and Mary (Straub) Kuoni. Jacob settled in Marysville in 1871, a number of years after he and his brother immigrated from Switzerland.

She practiced daily the teachings of her Christian faith and contributed much to the joy and well-being of her Marysville friends and neighbors. She demonstrated a kind and caring heart, a quiet and witty sense of humor, and good will to all. She practiced her talent and steady diligence as a quilter, to the benefit of others.

Reared in Marysville, she graduated from local public schools, and first earned her way as a bookkeeper for an automobile agency. During the years of WWII, she found employment that undergirded U.S. Army military operations. Following the war, she qualified for a Civil Service secretarial position (stenography and typing) with the Kansas Commission of Veterans Affairs.  The office was located in the basement of the Marshall County Courthouse building. One day her boss secretly decided to play match-maker and sent her on an errand to a young, Purple Heart veteran employed as a court stenographer in that same building. That is how Helen and Gordon
first met.

On May 22, 1955, she and Gordon Leslie Johnson were the first couple to be married in the new sanctuary of the First Christian Church in Marysville. They remained active members of this congregation for the rest of their lives. They were a devoted and loving couple for 66 years of marriage, until his death in 2022. They shared many common interests and activities. They also encouraged each other in their individual talents and hobbies. He enjoyed building models of motor vehicles, and constructing quality, wooden toys – cars, trucks, and service vehicles -- on his workbench. She enjoyed quilting.

Helen’s mother, a recognized expert in the needle arts, taught Helen how to quilt when she was young. And Helen, throughout her life, created countless numbers of quilts, most of which she donated to church and various charities, thus assisting many worthwhile fundraising endeavors. Helen also served the community by working alongside Gordon at the Marysville Lion’s Club where he was active for many years. He served the Lion’s in various capacities, most notably leading the club’s annual fundraiser responsibilities. One year, Helen and Gordon made hands-on repairs at the Lion’s Club Park. This included painting the picnic pavilion, to make Marysville proud of the delightful, clean, and well-maintained place of recreation and social interaction. The Johnsons also served the community by making generous contributions to Community Memorial Healthcare and the CMH Foundation. They donated a fully equipped surgical room and provided other equipment and furnishings as needed.

Through the years, Helen and Gordon enjoyed many wonderful motorcoach and train excursions to visit historic sites and to see the beauty of America first hand. They never tired of reminiscing about the fun of those trips. They particularly appreciated the majesty of Niagara Falls, where they returned many times.  The Johnsons kept themselves current on local and national government affairs and were patriotic citizens, never missing an opportunity to vote. When Helen’s eyesight deteriorated in her elder years, she kept up her “reading” of novels and other books of interest with a subscription to receive books on tape from the State Library of Kansas. Gordon read the newspaper and other articles to her every day. They went to church every Sunday and faithfully studied scripture at the adult Sunday school class. They frequented the Wagon Wheel Restaurant for regular dinner dates well into their nineties.

Helen’s exemplary character and caring nature were evident throughout her life of service to church and community. A woman of faith and deed, she was a good friend to many, a most refined and attractive woman, and a loving wife and aunt. She will long be loved and admired by family and friends alike.

She is preceded in death by her husband, Gordon; parents, Arthur and Hilda Kuoni of Marysville; brothers, Wallace of Marysville, Frank (Elizabeth) of Medford, OR, and nephew in-law Steven McCann of San Jose, CA.

Survivors include her nephew John P. (Helene) Kuoni of Allentown, PA, niece Joanne S. McCann of Medford, OR, nephew James E. (Lin Colwell) Kuoni of Lincoln City, OR, two great-nephews Michael (Sara) McCann, Andrew (Eryn Rudolph) McCann, a great-niece Larisa McCann, and one great great niece Avery McCann.

A memorial fund has been established to the Community Memorial Healthcare, Meadowlark Hospice and First Christian Church in Marysville, KS, or a charity of choice.  Any contributions should be sent in care of Kinsley Mortuary. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Helen Ruth Johnson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, March 12, 2024

1:00 - 9:00 pm

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Funeral Service

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

10:30 - 11:00 am

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Wednesday, March 13, 2024

11:15 - 11:45 am

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Marysville City Cemetery

1401 N 16th St
Marysville, KS 66508

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