Cover photo for John Polley's Obituary
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1922 John 2015

John Polley

September 2, 1922 — August 8, 2015

John Polley, age 92 of Erskine, MN and formerly from Crookston and the McIntosh, MN area passed away on Saturday, August 8th at Riverview Hospital in Crookston. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, August 13th at 1:00 PM at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Crookston with Rev. Steve Bohler officiating. Visitation will be held for one hour before the funeral at the church on Thursday. Interment will be in Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in McIntosh. The Carlin-Hoialmen Funeral Home of Fosston, MN is in charge of the arrangements. Messages of condolence may be sent to www.carlinhoialmen.com. John Frederick Polley was born September 2, 1922 to Fred and Esther (Schweikert) Polley in rural McIntosh, Sletten Township. During his second year of life a cattle disease called Bangs cleaned out his parent's dairy herd and the family was destined to many years of living on rented land, along with a depression. In the fall of 1940, Fred and Esther bought a farm south of Fosston, MN. John went to three different country schools, McIntosh High School for three years, and Fosston High School his senior year in 1941 to finish his education. After high school, John worked as a lumberjack on 80 acres of stumpage south of Ebro, MN. John also found work at that time cutting oak tie bolts for the railroad and helping an uncle, Herbert Polley of Rose Bud, MT, to finish harvesting small grain and sugar beets. In April of 1942, John went to Crookston, MN to register for the draft, and in November he was called into service. John served in the U.S. Army from November 6, 1942 to October 30, 1945. He joined the 4th Ranger Infantry Battalion, reaching the rank of Sergeant. He fought in six campaigns until his discharge in 1945. In June of 1948 he married Mildred West of Winger, MN. They had two sons; John, born in 1949 and Mark, born in 1954. They moved to Minneapolis in 1949, where John worked as a street car motorman and attended the University of Minnesota. He also taught Veterans Ag in Wilmar, MN before graduating from the U of M in 1954. John substitute taught Vo-Ag until July of 1956 when he went to work with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. In 1968 he began teaching Soil and Water Conservation, Engineering, Hydrology, Irrigation, and Soil Science at the University of MN Crookston. John retired in June of 1986. Mildred died of cancer in September of 1987. In December of 1989, John married Doris Brule and moved to Crookston, MN. Doris passed away in May 2015, and in June John moved to the Country Place Apartments in Erskine, MN where he lived until his passing at Riverview Hospital in Crookston on August 8, 2015. John enjoyed teaching and he loved to travel. Surviving family members include sons, John (Caryn) Polley of Grand Rapids, MN, and Mark (Patricia) Polley of Winger, MN; sisters-in-law Mary Lou Polley and Bonnie Polley; stepsons and stepdaughters, Bonnie Brule of Mentor, MN, Wayne Brule of Crookston, MN, Marlin (Stacy) Brule of Jordan, MN, Randy (Tammy) Brule of Mentor, MN, Lynette (Jeff) Haugen of Coon Rapids, MN, Laurie (Tim) Wavra of Crookston, MN, Chuck (Diana) Marshall of Florida, John Stueber of Crookston, MN; 29 grandchildren; 33 great grandchildren; many nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Esther Polley; wife Mildred (West) Polley; brothers, Roger Polley and Wesley Polley; sister Marjorie (Polley) Holmstrom; wife Doris (Brule) Polley; stepdaughters Linda (Brule) Marshall and Terri (Brule) Stueber.
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