September 20, 1933 - February 28, 2014
September 20, 1933 - February 28, 2014
Ernestine "Polly" Howard came into this world on September 20, 1933, and for more than 80 years, she lived a life full of love, joy and unselfish devotion to her family and friends. February 28, 2014, while residing in Houston, Texas, Polly found peace when she was called home to be with our Lord, where she will live forever in the city of the living God.
Born during the Great Depression in a rural country home in Marion County, Arkansas – on the same day the Pittsburgh Steelers played their first game in the NFL, in the same year America elected Franklin D. Roosevelt as its 32nd President, the year that Mount Rushmore was dedicated, when a first class stamp was only 3 cents, in a year when unemployment was over 25%, the same year the movie "King Kong" premiered and the game of Monopoly was invented, almost two months after the first solo flight around the world was completed and less than three months after the first major league baseball all-star game, less than a month before Albert Einstein came to the U.S. as a refugee from Nazi Germany, during a time when major world events that would eventually lead to World War II were unfolding, and less than four months after Walt Disney released his all-time classic "3 Little Pigs" – Polly was the second of five pigtailed little girls raised by Arthur and Edna Wood. Her loyalty and love for her family, and her unpretentious passion for finding the good and inner beauty in every person she met or befriended punctuated Polly's life.
In 1936 Polly moved with her family to Oklahoma, where her father worked as an electrician in the Eagle-Picher lead and zinc mines. Sixteen years and three sisters later, she graduated from Picher-Cardin High School in 1952. A very dedicated mother and homemaker, she cherished the time she spent with her family and friends, cooking, painting, doing arts and crafts, dreaming of fashion designs and sketching dresses and fancy clothing that reflected her artistic talents. She had a wry sense of humor, was a great listener, and loved everyone just the way they were. She loved family reunions, retelling old tales and reliving memories from the days when life was simple and free of modern day distractions. More than anything, Polly was the ultimate giver, devoted to her family, children and grandchildren. Words used by her family and friends to describe her and their relationship with her were… unconditional love, fun, silly, childlike, strong-willed, patient, kind, caring, never negative, gentle, giving, generous, never too busy, always present, non-judgmental, the best at making you believe in yourself and making you feel like the most important person in the world, trusting, trustworthy and world champion back scratcher.
Her parents, sister Dolores, and daughter Janie preceded Polly in death. She is survived by sisters Otherine, Shirley and Twila Sue, son Arty, daughter-in-law Mona, four grandchildren, Rachel, Bill, Austin and Grace, six great-grandchildren, Kelli Jo, Alex, Gabrielle, Jordan, Brenton and Maryjaine, and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, loving relatives and friends. Unconditional giving and selfless love defined her life, as illustrated in the book, The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein.
Polly's family is grateful for the gentle and Godly caregivers who treated her with loving kindness, respect and tender care, making it possible for her to peacefully prepare for the most marvelous family reunion with God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Celebrations of her life will be held in the sanctuary at St. Dominic Village in Houston, Texas, at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 4, 2014, and First Assembly of God Church, 600 S. Mickey Mantle Blvd, Commerce, Oklahoma, at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, March 15, 2014. Interment will be at Green Lawn Cemetery where her mother and father rest in peace in Lyon Township, Cherokee County, Kansas. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that you consider making contributions in her honor to support the Rehabilitation Center Activity Fund at St. Dominic Village, a faith-based, non-profit, continuing care retirement community in Houston, Texas, dedicated to caring for elders with the compassion of Christ, and Houston Hospice, the leading non-profit hospice offering loving care and compassionate support to patients and their families during life's final journey.
"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." Isaiah 40:31.
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