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Helen Walton, Widow of Wal-Mart Founder, Dead at 87

Helen Robson Walton, widow of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, has died at her home, the company said in a news release. She was 87.

Walton was surrounded by family members when she died Thursday evening of natural causes, the company said.

"We are so proud of our mother and the life she led," said Rob Walton, eldest son of Sam and Helen Walton and chairman of Wal-Mart Stores. "She devoted much of her life to helping others, and to improving the quality of life in Northwest Arkansas.

"Today, my brother and sister, and the entire Walton and Robson families mourn my mother's death. But we also celebrate her extraordinary life."

Walton was born Dec. 3, 1919, in Claremore, Oklahoma. Walton's husband Sam, a native of Kingfisher, Oklahoma, died in 1992 at the age of 74.

A memorial service is planned for Monday at First Presbyterian Church in Bentonville.