Helen Claire Johantgen

Helen Claire Johantgen (Heck) passed away peacefully surrounded by some of her family on June 26, 2019.

Helen was born in San Diego and grew up in Ridgecrest. She attended Pierce Elementary and Saint Ann School until she moved on to Burroughs High School. She graduated from Burroughs in 1975.

She attended Cerro Coso Community College and played tennis there until 1977 when she met her husband, John Heck, and moved to Mechanicsburg, Penn. Helen and John celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on June 23, 2019. They had three children, Casey Bryant, Alison Rae and Daniel Stephen. The family moved to Poquoson, Va., in 1988, where they lived until moving to Newport News, Va., in 2017. Helen worked for the Poquoson Public Library for more than 20 years before retiring in January 2018.

She is survived by her husband and children; her mother Helen Jackson; her younger siblings,Bess Johantgen Reed, John Johantgen, Jeannie Fitch, and Francis Johantgen; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, John “Jack” Johantgen, brother Knud Nielsen, and sister Marie Johantgen.

The family thanks Helen’s many doctors and nurses at Virginia Oncology and elsewhere for their diagnosis and longtime treatment of her rare immune deficiency.

A memorial service will be held on July 13, 2019, at 1 p.m. at Weymouth Funeral Home in Newport News. A celebration of Helen’s life will be held at St. Michael’s Hall in Newport News immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be given to the Immune Deficiency Foundation or Dining for Women.

— Submitted by the family of Helen Johantgen

Story First Published: 2019-07-26