Helen Crawford Nagy Josefsen was born in 1934 to Leroy and Helen Crawford in McGrath, Alaska and moved to Seldovia in 1945 when Helen was eleven years old. Her father was a mechanic who worked on boat engines and had a machine shop on the dock which the family lived above. Helen has a younger brother, John, and a younger sister, Diane. Helen also spent a few years living with her Aunt Bertha and Uncle Eddie in Anchorage, and after she was married, Helen and her family spent some time living on MacDonald Spit near Seldovia. Helen became interested in doing art when she was in high school, but had learned how to bead, embroider, crochet and knit from her mother, grandmother, and aunt. Helen ran a beauty shop in Anchorage for a while, then she moved back to Seldovia where she opened another beauty shop. Helen was involved in the restoration of Saint Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Seldovia and helped establish the Seldovia Museum.