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Helen Maxine Thornton Polk

Hickory Plains, AR, 1932 - 2020

Helen Maxine Thornton Polk, 88, passed away Tuesday, July 28, 2020. She was born March 7, 1932, in Lakeville, Ind.,to the late Orva Thornton and Mary Berger Thornton. Her father passed away before she was born and her mother remarried to the late Elmer Wagner, who raised her as his own. Helen graduated South Bend Central High School in 1950. After graduating, she worked for the Clays Candy Factory in South Bend. She met her late husband, R.J. "Bud" Polk, while visiting friends in Arkansas and they married December 23, 1958. They made a home in Hickory Plains, Ark. She found out rather quickly what farm life and living in the south was really like.
Before children arrived, they grew cotton and farmed making a home where they welcomed four boys and a girl. Helen kept the household running and that was the hardest job of all! Helen was active with all things in the community. She was a member of the Nazarene Church of Hickory Plains, where she taught Sunday school, was treasurer for years and received the Distinguished Service Award from the church. She was involved with the Extension Homemakers "Busy Hands" Club and went on many trips with the ladies. She loved restoring furniture and trunks and entering them into the Prairie County Fair each year. Helen canned just about any vegetable, fruit, or meat. Her cooking was like no other. There was always food aplenty and sweet tea in the fridge.
Her greatest joys were her 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grands. They grew up knowing love and knowing Granny was always proud of them. She adored them and they her. In the later years she cared for her husband before his passing in March of this year.
She is survived by her sons, Jim (Tami) Polk, David (Lynne) Polk, John (Gail) Polk, Jay Polk and daughter Mary (Mack) Seymore, all of Hickory Plains, Ark.; her sisters, Betty Lou Ingle of Edwardsburg, Mich., Marietta Smith of South Bend, Ind.; and numerous nieces, nephews, family, and friends.
Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday July 31, 2020, at Smith Westbrook Funeral Home. Funeral will be 10 a.m. Saturday at Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home, with burial at Hickory Plains Cemetery. Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be strictly adhered to. Arrangements by Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home.

Published July 30, 2020

Smith-Westbrook Funeral Home
404 Dewitt Henry Drive, P.O. Box 490, Beebe, AR
Phone: 501-882-5412