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Life Story / Obituary
With the Lord as her guide and her loving family by her side, Dolly Polson knew great joy. A positive woman, Dolly’s loving-kindness towards others knew no bounds. While she had her share of heartaches in life, Dolly was resolved to allow her Lord to use those experiences to strengthen her. She was steadfast in her faith and in all ways a loving example of Christ’s love, forgiveness, and hope. Gone yet never to be forgotten, the heart of Dolly lives on through those who came to know and love her.
Born on January 17, 1930, in Chicago, Illinois at the Swedish Covenant Hospital, Dolores “Dolly” was the daughter of Arthur and Florence (Carlson) Holman during the Great Depression. Dolly’s father and his father had been successful builders until the Depression hit which caused financial havoc from coast to coast. Her mother worked as a telephone operator and also looked after Dolly and her younger sister, Margaret.
Dolly cherished and loved her special doll, Margie that rarely left her side. In fact, Dolly kept Margie for the rest of her days. The doll was Dolly’s most prized possession which she held close. When her parents divorced, she moved to Toronto, Canada and lived with her paternal grandparents, William and Julia Holman and her dear aunt and uncle Clarence and Daisy Cryderman for five years. Then she returned to Chicago to be near her father and lived with her maternal grandparents Axel and Electa "Mother Dear" Carlson during her years at Senn High School.
She enjoyed a great time whenever her family got together with extended family for holidays and other special occasions. Growing up on the shores of Lake Michigan also offered a young girl like Dolly and her friends much to do. During her eighth grade year Dolly learned that many of her new friends had escaped from Nazi Germany. It was a hard realization for a young girl.
Dolly attended a very large elementary school in Chicago. It was the only elementary school with a swimming pool. She loved swimming and became rather good at it too. Following high school, Dolly went on to attend Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. She worked as a secretary at Taylor. While attending one of the college basketball games, Dolly saw Curth L. “Len” Polson. She asked one of her friends who the good-looking #8 player was, and when introduced to Len, she asked him if he knew anyone from Chicago. Although he was six years older than Dolly, the two soon began dating and fell deeply in love. On July 2, 1949, they were happily married at Moody Memorial Church in Chicago.
Dolly was not only a new bride but a preacher’s wife. They moved to Hesperia, Michigan when Len took a pastorate at a church and later to Pennsylvania when he went on to seminary. With his degree in hand, Dolly and Len made Michigan their permanent home where together they lovingly raised five children in faith. Diane, Anne, Lois, David and Elizabeth Jo brought much joy to their lives. Dolly loved being a mother and made a good home for Len and the children. Sadly, Dolly experienced the greatest of sorrows when her baby girl, Elizabeth Jo, passed away at four months old in 1958.
Dolly served as a communications assistant for Portage Public Schools for 25 years. Her hobbies included playing the piano and being an avid reader. She enjoyed cross-stitch and sewing, crossword puzzles, ice skating and skiing, and walking. She loved Chicago and was very interested in genealogy.
Dolly loved her Lord and her family. When her beloved Len passed away on December 22, 2011, she received comfort from God’s promises and from family. Her grandchildren, Frederick, Peter, Nathaniel, Alexander, Kathryn, Julia, Rebekah, Matthew, Daniel, and Andrea were such a blessing to Dolly, and becoming a great-grandmother to Nicholas, Jacob, Halee, Molly, Josef, Renner, Jaxon, Preston, Emma, Malana, Lucas, Noah, Myra, Theodore James, and Eleanor Rose filled Dolly’s heart with love. When she first married, Dolly thought love could not get any better until she became a mother and grandmother, for Dolly found in those she loved the greatest joy. Her favorite birthday was 1985 when her grandson Nate was born on her birthday, which they celebrated together each year.
Everyday was a good day to Dolly. Even when under the weather, her optimistic nature and faithful ways always looked for the good. Quite simply, Dolly loved Jesus and she loved people. With ways all her own, Dolly’s grace and sweet spirit was a blessing and many happy memories will continue to be recalled by those Dolly has known and loved. Devout to her Lord and the family she so treasured, Dolly will be long remembered for her beautiful spirit.
“I’ve learned to love Jesus and serve him; to love people, to be kind and to be content no matter where I am. We all have joys and heartaches and disappointments and it is important for us to learn to always be thankful for Jesus’ love and care. Sometimes the hard things make us stronger, just the way exercise makes our bodies strong.” Dolly Polson.
Dolores “Dolly” Polson, age 87, of Portage went to be with the Lord on October 24, 2017 surrounded by her loved ones. Visit with her family and friends and view her life story film on Saturday, October 28th from 1-2pm at the Berean Baptist Church in Portage (7813 S. 12th Street, Portage, MI). A funeral service will follow at 2pm at the same location. Left to cherish her memory are her children: Diane (Fred) Taylor, Anne (Randy) Sherfield, Lois (Steve) Dykehouse, and David (Dawn) Polson; ten grandchildren: Frederick (Sheri) Taylor, Peter (Elizabeth) Taylor, Nathaniel (Audree) Taylor, Alexander Inkster, Kathryn (Robert) Ray, Julia (Thomas) Patton, Rebekah (David) Geer, Matthew (Meghan) Polson, Daniel Polson, and Andrea Polson; 15 great-grandchildren; siblings: Margaret, Nancy, Florence, Laurence, Jeffrey, and Rommy; several nieces and nephews. Dolly was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, C. Lennart Polson; daughter, Elizabeth Jo; and brother, Norman. Please visit Dolly’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo of Dolly and sign her online guest book. Memorial donations may be made to the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.