Helen M. Brodka, 80, crocheter, sold light bulbs

October 01, 1997

Helen M. Brodka, who was stricken with polio when she was 2 years old but raised a family and worked at several jobs at home, died of cancer Sept. 21 at Mariner Health of Glen Burnie. She was 80.

Mrs. Brodka was a former resident of Pinewood, a home for handicapped senior citizens near Glen Burnie, where she lived for 22 years. She raised three children, earning a living crocheting scarves, selling light bulbs by telephone and monitoring television commercials.

The former Helen Smith was born in the Hampton section of Baltimore County. She spent her childhood in North Beach, Calvert County, and moved to Baltimore as a teen-ager.

She was a graduate of Merganthaler Vocational-Technical High School, where she helped sew the costumes for Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians, a popular orchestra and singing group.

Her 1937 marriage to Frank Brodka Sr. ended in divorce in 1963.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mariner Health of Glen Burnie, 7355 Furnace Branch Road.

She is survived by a son, Frank Brodka Jr. of Summerville, S.C.; two daughters, Theresa Riebel of Baltimore and Margaret Corder of Tabernacle, N.J.; nine grandchildren; and 12 great-grandchildren.

Pub Date: 10/01/97

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