Helen Catherine Flock
February 26, 1923 – November 13, 2020
FLOCK, HELEN CATHERINE WOLF, 97, formerly of Louisville, died Friday, November 13, 2020, in The Villages, FL. She was born February 26, 1923, in Madison, IN, to Casper George and Elizabeth Lyons Wolf. She was the second youngest of their eight children; her baby sister, Ruth, died at age 2, but she grew up with and remained close to her older brothers and sisters throughout their lives: Robert, Gertrude, Mary, Frank, George, and Raymond. Her dad died when she was just 11 years old.
Helen attended St. Mary’s Elementary School in Madison, IN, where she started school a year early because her brother Raymond, who was a year older, wouldn’t go to school without her, and graduated from Madison High School. She then attended St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing in Indianapolis, IN, and was president of her graduating class. She worked as a registered nurse in the newborn nursery at St. Vincent’s Hospital before becoming a full-time mother when she married a widower with a 2-year-old son.
Helen married Howard Ross Flock in Madison, IN, in 1946, and they raised five children together. During the first 10 years of their marriage, Helen and Howard and their growing family moved numerous times due to Howard’s rising career in the veneer industry, living in Indianapolis, IN, Greensburg, IN, Rock Island, IL, and Timonium, MD. In 1956, Howard took a job with Wood Mosaic Corporation and the family moved to Louisville, KY, which they called home for the next 28 years. After spending numerous winters in south Florida during their retirement years, Howard and Helen became full-time Floridians in 1984, living first in Hollywood and then moving to Jacksonville to be closer to their daughter and son-in-law, Barbara and Gordon Nall, who helped care for them as they aged. After Howard died in 2005, Helen followed Barbara and Gordon to The Villages, where she lived in assisted living at Sumter Place and then in memory care at Elan Spanish Springs Senior Living due to severe memory loss caused by dementia.
Helen was a devout Catholic throughout her life, faithfully attending Mass every Sunday until churches closed due to COVID-19 this past March. She and Howard were among the founding members of St. Athanasius Church in Louisville, where she served as the first president of the parish Women’s Club. She was a strong supporter of Catholic education and all five of her children attended Catholic elementary and/or high schools. Helen frequently prayed the Rosary, and for many years she and Barbara made rosaries for Our Lady’s Rosary Makers in Louisville to distribute to missionaries.
Helen and Howard enjoyed a very active social life with the family and the many friends they made in every place they lived. She loved fishing (as long as Howard
baited her hook) and playing golf at South Park Country Club (and even won a number of ladies golf tournaments), going out to eat, attending local athletic and arts events, betting on the horses in Kentucky and the dogs in Florida, and playing slot machines. She was hard-wired for cards and always played to win, even when playing Uno with the grandkids; she loved playing Pinochle, Bridge, Hearts, 31, and Solitaire and with family, friends, and neighbors. Helen was also talented in arts and crafts and enjoyed ceramics, knitting and crocheting, and making wreaths and other decorative items out of the shells she and Howard collected at the beach while living in Florida. While living in memory care, Helen’s talent for painting was revealed, and her family was delighted to discover they had their own Grandma Moses.
While at Wood Mosaic, Howard traveled extensively on business, and in the later years of his career, Helen often accompanied him on these trips. The woman who really never liked to drive became a seasoned world traveler, taking numerous trips to Canada and Mexico and visiting England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands, and Greece, Japan, the Philippines, India, Hong Kong, Thailand, Australia, and Tahiti and other Pacific islands. They also enjoyed cruises to Key West, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Aruba, Curacao, Cozumel, and Belize; in 2003 at age 86, she set sail on the first of five mother/daughter Caribbean cruises with Barbara and Cindi, and she celebrated her 90th birthday in 2013 with a family cruise.
Helen was a great cook and loved hosting big family meals, especially at holidays. She grew gigantic lemons in her backyard and made killer lemon meringue pies. She delighted in being a shrewd negotiator and getting a bargain; she was legendary within the family for bargaining on the beach in Acapulco to buy handmade painted clay pots for a nickel each—from a woman carrying a baby in a sling around her neck. She loved puzzles of all kinds and solved the Jumble in the newspaper daily. She never left the house without lipstick. Most importantly, she was a steadfast daughter and sister, a devoted wife for 59 years, a loving mother, a fun-loving grandma, and a good and strong woman.
Helen was preceded in death by her parents; her seven brothers and sisters; her husband, Howard; and her son Bill. She leaves to cherish her memory four children Barbara (Gordon) Nall of The Villages, FL, and Joe (Pat) Flock, Cindi (Bill) Baughman, and Alan (Anne) Flock, all of Louisville; her daughter-in-law, Debi Drown Flock, of Knoxville, TN; eight grandchildren, Angie (Jay) Vannatta and William Aaron (Sarah) Flock, Gordon (Tara) and Chris (Cassie) Nall, Brian (Samantha) Flock, Katie Baughman (Kayla Chandler), and Andrew (Stephanie) and Alex Flock; and six great grandchildren, Caleb and Chloe Flock, Jaxson Nall, Nathan Flock, Jonah Baughman-Chandler, and Curtis Nall.
Due to the global pandemic, all funeral services were private. Evergreen Funeral Home handled her arrangements. Helen is entombed next to Howard at Evergreen Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Helen’s memory to the charity of the donor’s choice or by playing cards with someone you love, planning a trip, baking a pie, enjoying a cocktail, or doing anything that brings you and others joy.