Clara Pauline (Polly) Dvorak passed away peacefully on January 20, 2023, surrounded by her loving family. Polly, the youngest and last surviving of six children, was born in Flat, Texas, on October 3, 1929, to Joe Tom and Effie Mae Edwards. Polly’s brothers were J.W., O.Q. and L.Z. Edwards and her sisters were Reba Moore and Alma Rutherford. Polly tragically lost her parents in an automobile accident at an early age and spent her childhood living with siblings in Gatesville, Texas, and Baltimore, Maryland.
Polly was fiercely independent and motivated. After graduating from high school, she moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas where she not only graduated with a degree in microbiology but also met the love of her life, Henry (Hank) Dvorak. Hank and Polly were married in 1951, in a double wedding with Hank’s sister, Elsie, and George Kadera.
After graduation, Hank and Polly moved to Ft. Worth and raised five children: Karen, David, Suzanne, John and Mark. In 1977, they moved to Norman, Oklahoma. Polly was preceded in death by Hank in 2003, and David in 2009. Polly had seven grandchildren: Jacob, Catherine and Ethan Dvorak, Henry and John Mareck, and Vivian and Annalee Alston; two great grandchildren: Jackson and Lincoln Dvorak; and too many nieces and nephews to name, all of whom she loved. Her sons-in-law and daughters-in-law also held a special place in her heart: Jim Mareck, Jack Altson (deceased), Pam (Baud) Dvorak and Julie (Haley) Dvorak.
Polly loved traveling with Hank, and they had wonderful trips to Africa, Honduras, Mexico, New Mexico, Hawaii, Boston, Vermont and Maine. She was a big baseball fan and enjoyed watching the Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox. Polly loved cooking/baking, country music, game nights with her friends and family reunions.
Polly was a selfless person who dedicated herself to helping her family, community and church. At Broadway Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, she worked at the nursery on Sunday mornings and at the food pantry. At the First Baptist Church in Norman, she taught preschoolers on Sunday mornings and helped out at the Family Life Center, food pantry and clothes closet. Polly baked cookies for the firemen at the local station, donated to scientific research, volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and went to New Orleans to provide aid to hurricane victims.
Polly was exceptionally loving, kind, thoughtful, smart, upbeat, funny and caring. While she was a tremendous mother, she was a transcendent grandmother. She spent countless hours watching her “grands” play soccer. Polly was an inspiration to and loved by all those that were blessed to know her.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her memory to the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation, Inc., 6952 Clayborne Drive, O’Fallon, MO 63368-6202 (sp-foundation.org/).