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Helen Polhemus
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Helen ("Mimi/Mim") Polhemus, 84, passed away peacefully on Thursday, January 31 in Modesto.

She was born on Oct. 29, 1923 and was a 1941 graduate of Escalon High.

She was the eldest of three daughters of George and Edna Thompson who had arrived in Escalon as a young married couple in 1921. Helen had a happy childhood and met Harold Polhemus, a soldier from Illinois, who was stationed at Stockton Field at the U.S. Army Air Force Base while she was waitressing at the Escalon Bakery. They were married on July 18, 1942. Upon Harold's discharge from the army they established their home in Escalon and were husband and wife for 55 years before Harold passed away in 1997. Their children attended and graduated from Escalon Schools.

Helen was employed as a clerk and buyer by Bengston's Dry Goods on Main Street in Escalon where she remained for more than 40 years. She enjoyed her neighbors and made many other friends through participation in a number of school, community, and church activities. At the time of her passing, Helen was proud to be President of the Escalon Grandmothers Club and enjoyed her membership in the Escalon Red Hat Dolls and Escalon Historical Society.

She enjoyed keeping track of each generation of families she knew in Escalon and could tell you who married whom, where they went to school, where they lived, where they worked, how many children they had and what their children's names were. She even stayed in touch with those who moved to other communities. Helen loved going shopping and being greeted with love and affection by those whom she had known over the years. There is no doubt that Escalon was "her town". She will be missed by her many community friends. She dearly loved her family, her friends, and her community.

Family activities over the years with Harold and the children included hunting, fishing, and trips to the mountains. In their later years, Helen and Harold enjoyed living in their home on their son Ron's and his wife's ranch on River Road. After Harold's death, she remained there and continued to enjoy all of her children and their families when they came to visit her.

Survivors include two sons and a daughter, Ron Polhemus and his wife Clyta of Escalon, Bill Polhemus of Oakhurst, and Patti Santini and her husband Bill of Escalon; six grandchildren, Darrin Polhemus of Sacramento, Brandon Polhemus of Escalon, Amy Polhemus of Fresno, Katie Polhemus of Clovis, Trudi Santini of Modesto, and Amber Wilson of Escalon; seven great-grandchildren, Cierra and Mason Polhemus, Andrew, Kyra and Ayden Wilson, all of Escalon, and Haylee and Brysan Polhemus of Sacramento; and two sisters, Betty Applequist of Farson, Wyoming and Bonnie Thompson of Santa Clara, California.

A Celebration of the Life will be held at the Escalon Methodist Church on Highway 120 at 11 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 8, following graveside services at 10 a.m. at Burwood Cemetery in Escalon.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent in memory of Helen to the Escalon Ambulance Company, The Escalon Methodist Church, or to the Escalon Museum.

The Escalon (Calif.) Times

Feb. 6, 2008