Helen Lorene Stewart Pledger, 97, died on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 in Monticello.

She was born August 7, 1919 in Arkadelphia to the late O.F. and Zelma Wheatley Stewart and married to J.M. Ray Pledger who preceded her in death, August 3, 1973.

She is survived by five children; George O. Pledger (Dorothy) of Caddo Gap, Betty S. Gardner Gilliam (Billy) of Monticello, Will R. Pledger (Corine) of Genoa, James M. Pledger (Virginia) of Judsonia and Carole A. Hamm (Jerry) of Monett, MO; one sister, Marjorie Cutting (Harve) of Sun City, AZ; six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter.

In addition to her parents and husband she was also preceded in death by two brothers, Lt. Colonel Luie D. Stewart and Olney E. Stewart.

She was a devoted member of First United Methodist Church of Monticello where she served as chairman of membership in the Little Rock Conference of UMW, and chairman of District Commission on Missions. She was a Sunday school teacher and hand bell and choir member for many years.

She was a member of the Methodist’s Women Study Club and secretary of the city Cemetery Association of Monticello. She was a charter member of the Drew Memorial Hospital Auxiliary where she served as the first president and continued as president for twenty years. Helen was also the Southeast Arkansas District Chairman of hospital auxiliaries and received a 3000 hours volunteer pin. She served as county council treasurer for the Northside Home Demonstration Club and as chairman for the Drew County American Red Cross blood drive.

In Green Bay, Wisconsin in 1987, she was elected Supreme Counselor for the United Commercial Travelers Auxiliary of the United States and Canada. She had served in this organization for many years while her husband, Ray, had held offices in the UCT until his death in 1973.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, January 6, at Oakland Cemetery in Monticello with Rev. Charles Wayne Gardner officiating. Memorials may be given to the First United Methodist Church Building Fund, 317 South Main, Monticello, AR 71655.