Helen Goff-Johnston-Orendorff


(July 27, 1925 - May 6, 2017)

Helen Margaret Goff was born on July 27, 1925, in Cody, Wyoming, to Byron “Barney” and Ruth Goff.

Barney assisted his father Johnny Goff on two hunting trips with Theodore Roosevelt before moving to Wyoming. Helen’s birth was preceded by sisters Marjorie, Harriet “Happy” (Kencke), and Evelyn and was followed by Norma Jean (Clayton). 

The family spent a lot of time along the North Fork of the Shoshone River where they managed Mountain View Lodge.  Helen briefly attended Wapiti School before attending school in Cody.

Helen graduated from Cody High School in 1943. She worked briefly at the Heart Mountain Relocation Center before leaving for California to take a job as a “Rosy the Riveter.”

Helen returned home and married Elmo Johnston in 1947. Elmo and Helen had three children, Jim in 1948, Jack in 1949, and Jane in 1956. 

The family moved to Powell in the mid-1950s where Elmo worked for the Chevy garage. Helen worked at Northwest Community College for 27 years. She could type 92 words per minute and her shorthand was 100 words per minute. She retired in 1988.  After Elmo’s passing in 1985, she married SinClair Orendorff in 1988.

Helen is survived by her children Jack Johnston, Jane (Jim) Jones, and daughter-in-law, Deb Johnston; her sister Norma Jean; her grandchildren Jami Johnston and Steven (Charissa) Johnston, Jeremy (Amanda) Johnston, Jodee (Andy) Metzler, and Jael (Casey) Fisher, Ryan (Elizabeth) Jones and Tara Jones; her great-grandchildren Nathan, Jaxon, Sam, Alexa, Tamara (Taylor) Wohlers, Gabi, Aubree, Cody, Lailah, Emily, Isabella, and Ryeli. 

She was preceded in death by husbands Elmo and SinClair, her son Jim, and sisters Happy and Evelyn.

Helen enjoyed spending time with family, especially picnics up the North Fork, and was very proud of her grandchildren. In addition to jigsaw puzzles, she was an expert crossword puzzle solver, which provided her with an above average vocabulary.

She was looking forward to the birth of her first great-great grandson Jack.    

The family offers sincerest thanks to the staff from the Rocky Mountain Manor, the Heartland, and the Spirit Mountain Hospice for taking care of Helen in her later years. 

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Spirit Mountain Hospice. Memorial to be held at Nelson Performing Arts Auditorium at Northwest College on Wednesday, May 10, at 3:30 p.m. A portion of Helen’s ashes will be scattered at Goff Creek, named for her grandfather.