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Pauline Opal Hensley

Visitation services for Pauline Opal Hensley, 96, West Plains, Missouri, will be held from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, November 18, 2021at Robertson-Drago Funeral Home.  A Graveside service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Frazier Cemetery, Gower, Missouri.

Mrs. Hensley passed away at 9:25 a.m., Saturday, November 13, 2021, at West Vue Nursing Center.

She was born June 25, 1925, at Londale, Missouri, to Sigle L. Watkins and Ernie F. North Watkins.  Pauline was born and raised in Ozark County, Missouri.  She graduated from Bakersfield High School with the Class of 1944.  Polly then moved to Kansas City.  When WWII broke out, she became a true “Rosie the Riveter” working at Pratt, Whitney and North American Aviation.  After the war, she met and married William Church; together they raised daughters, Shirley and Patti in a fun and loving home in Kansas City, Kansas.  Polly was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader and was very active in PTA, serving in local and state officer positions while her girls attended Bryant Grade School.  Upon retiring from Macy’s Department Store, she stayed on the family farm in Gower, Missouri that she shared with her husband, Claud Hensley.  She had huge gardens every year and loved quilting and helping with the horses and cattle; she also enjoyed camping, traveling and loved life.  Polly moved back to southern Missouri in 2006 where she lived in West Plains until her passing.  Some of her last words were “I love my family.”  Mrs. Hensley was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church, Pomona, Missouri.

She is survived by three children, Larry Watkins, Shirley Akers and Patricia Burge; special daughter-in-law, Rita (Hensley) Pugh; six grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

Her parents, husbands, one sister, Eula Forbes, two brothers, Ray Lewis and Dale Watkins, son-in-law, Cay Burge and special sister-in-law, Kathy Watkins, preceded her in death.

The family wishes to thank West Vue Nursing Center and the staff for the exceptional loving care shown to Miss Pauline.  Memorial contributions may be made to VFW Auxiliary, Alton, Missouri and may be left at or mailed to Robertson-Drago Funeral Home, 211 West Main, West Plains, MO  65775.