Helen J. Short, 108


Helen Janet (Ponder) Short died peacefully at 1:08 a.m. on  Monday July 10, 2023, in her Neoga home at the age of 108.   

Visitation will be held on Monday, July 17, beginning at 9:30 a.m. until the time of the service at the United Presbyterian Church in Neoga. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Neoga Memorial Cemetery. 

Mrs. Short was born Aug. 6,1914, in Piatt County, the daughter of Walter S. and Ethel S. (Smith) Ponder. 

Following graduation from Hammond High School, she attended Illinois Normal College for two years and graduated from the University of Illinois in 1936 with a degree in mathematics.  She accepted a position in Chicago with Armour and Company as a statistician.

While in Chicago, she met the love of her life, Bill Short. The couple were married Nov. 12,1938, in Wheaton. In 1940, the young family, Helen, Bill and baby Janet, moved to Neoga, so that Bill could help his father with the Short Furniture Store. For the next 83 years, Mrs. Short proudly made her home in Neoga. She called it the “best little town in Illinois!”

Mrs. Short enjoyed china and oil painting, bridge, violin (at the age of 80), crocheting, and trips with daughters and daughter-in-law. She especially enjoyed trips with husband Bill to hunt for arrowheads and rocks and minerals.

She is survived by four daughters, Janet (Stanley) Albin, Linda (Bill) Hanfland, Margaret "Peggy" (James) Stuntz and Barbara (Kevin) Beals; and one son, William "Bill" (Jane) Short of Litchfield; grandchildren, Joan Elaine Albin, William (Connie) Albin, David (Katie) Hanfland, Mark (Sherri) Hanfland, Robert (Alexandra) Stuntz, James (Zoa) Stuntz, Krista (Greg) Ledington, Dana (Scott) Christensen, Dustin (Lynn) Lindley, Jesse (Katianna) Lindley, William (Kaylyn) Short, Christopher (Stephanie) Short; 31 great-grandchildren, and six great-great grandchildren.

In addition to her parents and her husband, she was preceded in death by one sister, Ruth Daugherty and one brother, James Ponder.

Memorials may be made to Neoga United Presbyterian Church, 704 Locust Ave. Neoga, IL 62447 or The Neoga History Room, c/o City Of Neoga, 533 Chestnut Ave., Neoga, IL 62447. Online condolences may be expressed at www.swengel-odell.com.