Helen Christine Serratos-Johnston, 80 years old, of Nampa, Idaho left this world peacefully on September 12, 2018, after a courageous battle with a terminal illness, her strength and dignity is an inspiration to all that shared in her care.
Helen was born to Jesus and Elena Serratos on July 23, 1938 in Meridian, California and was raised in Nampa, Idaho as the eleventh of twelve children. Helen was very proud of her heritage and the Serratos name. As an adult Helen worked at Mercy Hospital where she met the love of her life Vernon E. Johnston in 1956. They married on June 7th, 1957 and moved to Castle Creek in Oreana, Idaho, where they began their family and a lifetime of adventures. Helen & Vernon relocated with their little family to a variety of homes across the Treasure Valley, eventually settling in Nampa during their retirement years under the care of their son Mark.
Helen can be described as a gifted woman in many ways, she loved to cook, sing, dance, and cherished her family, and her Vernon, above all others. She possessed a genuine gift of laughter which was enticing to all in her presence and fostered her sense of adventure. Helen shared a genuine spark for life embracing all the ups and downs that were presented to her with compassion, optimism, and a fierce drive to defend and protect her own.
Helen had her arms and dinner table open to anyone that came to her door. She had a sprit about her that could make others feel like they were part of her family, one of her own, only ever asking to be loved and accepted in return. Helen had the ability to make any house their family lived in feel like a home, as long as they were all together. Family gatherings and Sunday dinners were important to her, and she derived a great deal of pleasure and peace in sharing a meal with her family, especially preparing crispy pancakes for the grandkids.
Helen had a sassy personality too, and loved big beehive hair, big sunglasses, high heels, big shiny Buicks, and she loved to drive fast. She wore her collars popped, her makeup on point, and her jewelry polished, modeling her style after Elizabeth Taylor and Mary Tyler Moore, but humorously had many Lucile Ball moments too. Helen felt a strong connection to music and loved to sing with a local band at the Black Sands Resort in Grandview. She was also known break from her cooking to dance with a dishtowel, swiveling her hips across the kitchen should her favorite song come on the radio. She loved arts and crafts too, and her Christmas gift were always homemade and from the heart, and not a rock for miles was safe from her paintbrushes. Should you run across a round rock painted like a cat or a ladybug, you might be safe in assuming Helen was the artist.
Vernon and Helen had a wonderful life together full of laughter and fun, rich, poor, or otherwise. She was so loved and will be dearly missed; Helen asked that in lieu of flowers please make dentations to St. Paul’s Catholic School in Nampa to help fund the construction of their new school.
Helen is preceded in death by her parents Jesus & Elena Serratos; siblings, Raymond, Ralph, Clara, Eli, Mary, Lupe, Art, Jesse, Carmen, Frances, Ted, and her grandson Jaret Johnston. She is survived by her husband Vernon Johnston and their beloved Siamese cat, Poodie; children: Debbie Marston, husband Ted; Mike Johnston, wife Anita; Mark Johnston; Pat Johnston, wife Kim. Grandchildren: Anne VanWassenhove, husband Seth; Mason Adney, wife Antonia; Shelbie Brito, husband Storm; Tristan Johnston; Cameron Johnston, and Grayson Johnston. Great grandchildren: Elizabeth, Samuel, Sophie, Jacob, and numerous nieces & nephews.
A visitation reception will be held on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 from 5 to 7 PM at the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 12 Noon on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 at the St. Paul's Catholic Church, Nampa. Burial will follow in the Mount Calvary Cemetery, Nampa. An online guest book and full obituary is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com