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was born to Irene and Hollis Johnson on April 10, 1918 at 64 Pawling Avenue,
in a house instead of a hospital. In those days, women went home to have
their babies, so Polly's birth certificate lists Troy, New York
as her birthplace, but she is more of a Vermonter than most
"natives". It always bothered her that "true"
Vermonters considered her a "Yorker", but she would retort that
"just because a cat has her kittens in the oven, doesn't make them
biscuits." Polly had an older brother, Philip, who passed away as a
teenager from a burst appendix.
Her family owned and operated a hotel all through her childhood known as
Johnson's on Lake
Bomoseen. It burned
to the ground in 1933. The house she lived in at the time of her passing
was built that same year for the huge sum of $1,500 and it was her home until
she was married in 1941.
early schooling was at the Pencil
on the back roads to Castleton. She attended Boarding
school at Troy Conference Academy (TCA) in Poultney from 6th
grade through high school.
high school, Polly went to Russell Sage College
in Troy, New York. She was college educated during a time when less than 20% of the female population continued after high school. While there, she met George Dolber who was majoring in aeronautical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). George graduated in 1938, Polly in 1939 and they wed on June 21, 1941 and gave birth to David Sumner about a year later in June of 1942. Starr was born in March 1945 and Ann came along in October 1947.
As an adult, Polly loved to
read, was quite skilled at quilting and other needlework and always enjoyed her
family. She was always involved in the Episcopal Church. As a life-long
Democrat she served as a Democratic committeewoman in DuPage County, IL
in the 1950’s. She worked very hard for
Adlai Stevenson, too. Polly thought Teddy
Roosevelt ought to be made a Saint and was a member of The League of Women Voters.
She devoted a lot of time to volunteer work, including volunteering at the
Castleton Public Library for many years.
Having lived a rich, full and varied life, Polly was loved by most, feared by
some, but respected by all. She was a great lady and we are all so
immensely proud to have been a part of her life.
Rutland [VT] Herald obituary, from December 15, 2008
Polly Johnson Dolber, 90, of Lake Bomoseen, died peacefully Sunday, December 14, 2008, ofcomplications from surgery.
Born on April 10, 1918, in Troy, NY, the daughter of Hollis and Irene Chessell Johnson of Bomoseen,Polly grew up at the lake hotel owned by her parents. A graduate of Troy Conference Academy, Poultney, and Russell Sage College, Troy, she married George Starr Dolber in 1941 and lived primarily in Chicago and Boston before returning to Bomoseen in 1970. She was active in the Episcopal church, Zeruah’s Daughters quilting group, a regular bridge group, and as a volunteer at the Rutland Regional Medical Center and the Castleton Free Library for many years.
Polly was predeceased by her brother, Philip Johnson, and her husband. Survivors include her children and their spouses, David, of Charleston, SC; Starr, of Pointe Claire, Quebec; and Ann, of Bomoseen; five grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held in the spring of 2009. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Episcopal Relief and Development Fund, accessible at http://www.er-d.org/.
Polly was known for her dry wit, practical nature, generosity, and deeply held convictions. She will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by her family and all who knew her.
View the guest book at www.rutlandherald.com/obits.
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