NORWICH — Polly Bell Hoag, 78, of Hayes Street, Norwich, a longtime Norwich resident, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, morning, Aug. 21, 2002, in the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital of Cooperstown.
Born in Norwich on Jan. 15, 1924, Polly was the daughter of Sydney K. Johnson, former city engineer for the city of Norwich, and his wife, Dorothy Bell Johnson.
As a descendent of Oscar Bell, she was one of the last survivors of the founding families of the Norwich Pharmacal Co.
She received her education in the Norwich schools, graduating with the Class of 1941, and then attended Syracuse University. She later attended Utica School of Commerce.
In 1947, in Norwich, Polly married Norman F. Hoag. She and Norman lived in Unadilla for 35 years, raising their family there. When Norm passed away on Sept. 8, 1971, Polly continued to live in Unadilla, moving back to Norwich in the 1980s, after the last of her children had graduated college.
Polly was truly a free spirit who would talk to anyone and believed there was goodness in everyone.
An unpretentious person who liked her name because it was simple, she never said "hello" when she answered the phone. She always asked, "how are you?," and meant it.
She practiced random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty, and believed firmly in world peace. Polly also believed in community service, a trait that she passed on to each of her children.
For a number of years, she was a volunteer at the Pink Door for Chenango Memorial Hospital. She spent many hours working at The Place, and any other charity that needed her.
She loved to travel, and to take historical walks with Don Windsor. She was a 50-year member of the Unadilla Women's Club. A good bridge player who belonged to the local bridge club, Polly also belonged to the Green Party and was a Democrat.
Polly was an avid learner who continued to audit classes at SUNY Morrisville and to take interesting classes at BOCES. She was proud of having attended Syracuse University, and of the fact that all of her four children had four-year college degrees.
Polly was an animal lover who could be seen daily walking with her miniature schnauzer, Alf, and who also shared her home with Kit, the flame-point Siamese.
Polly is survived by her children, Susan M. Walton and her husband, Scott, of Evanston, Ill., Holly A. Hoag of Seattle, Wash., and David S. Hoag and his wife, Karen, of Colleyville, Texas; and her grandchildren, Dustin and Kaitlin Hoag of Colleyville, Texas. She is also survived by her dog, Alf; her cat, Kit; her "adopted family," the Clarks of Hayes Street; her many Hayes Street friends; and by many loving friends throughout the area.
Besides her loving husband, Norm, Polly was predeceased by her son, Steven Hoag in 1987; by her brother, Sydney Kent Johnson Jr.; by her sister, Pat Clawson; and by her four-footed companions, Moose "Chuckie," her longtime walking buddy, Daisy, and "grand-dog," Von.
In lieu of funeral services, a going away party for Polly will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2002, at Grove Park.
At Polly's request, everyone should "bring a road map to help me find my way to heaven," and a pie tin or drum to bang to "make a loud racket to scare away the devil."
"But the point is," as Polly would say, "for heaven's sake, whatever you do, have fun!"
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested gifts of remembrance to one of the following: Butternut Monthly Meeting Religious Society of Friends, 15 Rutherford Place, New York, NY 10003; Guernsey Memorial Library, 5 Court St., Norwich, NY 13815; Planned Parenthood of Broome & Chenango, 157 E. Main St., Norwich; or Morrisville College Foundation Fund, Chenango Community Scholarship Fund, 16 South Broad St., Norwich.
Arrangements are by the R.J. Fahy Funeral Home of Norwich.
Published in The Daily Star on August 23, 2002.
Primarily I have been adding folks that had some association with the Butternut Valley, but I found Polly's obituary quite unique and wanted to share it with you. Donna