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Elizabeth J. "Betty" Polak
May 22, 1926 ~ October 22, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old
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Elizabeth J. “Betty” Polak, 97, of South Bend, Indiana passed away on Sunday, October 22, 2023, in Healthwin Specialized Care. Betty was born on May 22, 1926 in South Bend to William and Stella (Michalski) Aftowski. Her father died when she was just an infant and she was raised by her mother and stepfather, Alex Glon, who treated her unequivocally as his own. On September 4, 1948 she married the love of her life, Henry L. Polak, who preceded her in death on July 27, 1985.
Betty was a graduate of New Carlisle High School where she played basketball, softball and ran track. She traveled extensively with her husband until his illness; after Henry’s passing she traveled on regular “bus trips” to casinos, sporting events and even Disneyworld with longtime friends, Bev and Nellie. Betty was and an avid sports fan and dog lover, having multiple cocker spaniels named “Lady”. Betty was employed for over 30 years by RACO before retiring, then working part time at Meijer for 10 years. At her Manager’s request, Betty regularly spent her time walking the aisles of Meijer with widowers who needed assistance with grocery shopping and meal planning but really, they just needed someone to talk to. She was a member of the American Legion Pulaski Post #357 Women’s Auxiliary since 1959.
In addition to her husband, Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her son, Richard Polak and her sister, Mary Ann Widup. Betty is survived by her daughter, Kathy (Charles) Watts of Johns Island, South Carolina; three grandchildren, Karmin Bowers Meade (Jason) of Johns Island, South Carolina and Jennifer Watts Veldman (Wayne) and Jeremy Watts, both of South Bend; six great-grandchildren, BriAnna Watts, Elizabeth Meade, Graham Meade, Lydia Meade, Austin Veldman, Colin Veldman and Carter Veldman; and four great-grandchildren Charles Watts, Theodore Veldman, Daniel Veldman and Kate Veldman.
A Catholic Funeral Service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, October 27, 2023 in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend, Indiana. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. until 1 p.m. Friday in the funeral home.