Richard Pollenz is remembered in love by his family – his wife of 62 years, Virginia (Ginnie) Pollenz, of Tampa, Florida; son Richard Pollenz and his wife Anne Costello, of Tampa, Florida, and his grandchildren Scott Pollenz and Megan Pollenz, of Florida; daughter Kathy Shannon, her partner Jeff Clements, of Orlando, Florida, and grandchild Luke Clements of Tennessee; daughter Kristine Dale, her husband Jeremy Dale, of Gilford, New Hampshire, and grandchildren Joshua Perkins and Jake Perkins, of New Hampshire.

He is survived by his sister, Shelley (Pollenz) Carlson, of Barrington, Illinois, and his nieces and nephews and their families: Kyle Carlson, Dana McCloud, William (Bill) Carlson, David Carlson, and Lori Lotz.

Peace.

Posted by Shelley Carlson on January 18, 2020
Missing you little brother. So many times, something comes up that I think “Oh, I have to call Dick and share this with him.” But I’m just so grateful that we were able to take our wonderful trip to Vienna and Prague and to connect in such a loving way. Save me a seat.
Posted by Luke Clements on March 12, 2019
You were a real provider, a respected military man and an amazing grandfather. Thank you for all the memories, they will never be forgotten. Thank you for all the advice you gave me as I grew older, the wisdom you shared with me will always stay with me. I know the impact you had on my life will continue to guide me in the right direction, and I will forever be grateful.
Love your grandson Luke
Posted by Bill Carlson on March 8, 2019
Although the times I did get to spend with Uncle Dick were too few and too short, I remember them fondly. From the earliest gatherings back at Gramma and Grampa’s in Springfield, to later years when he was in to visit Mom, I always remember him for his intelligence, his wit, and his passion. I wish I had been able to know him better, but like my brother and sisters have already said, I’m so thankful for the geaneology he put together for the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you remember the amazing, unique individual Dick was.
Posted by Jacob Perkins on March 7, 2019
Although the sheer distance separating our homes meant in-person visits were rare, I still treasure all of the years we spent corresponding via email between those occasions. Your astounding intelligence, creativity, trademark wit and sheer passion for achieving in life has been an infinite source of inspiration to us all, and has been the driving influence in my life as well. The wonderful day we were able to spend together in 2017 - being able to sit down and talk about life, passions and goals, your latest efforts in the incredible genealogy you created, and simply the joy of spending that quality time with you after so long, is a time I will cherish forever.
I feel incredibly honored and fortunate to be your grandson. Although we miss you so deeply, your positive influence will live on through us all, and I can't thank you enough for that.
Posted by David Carlson on March 7, 2019
You will be so missed uncle. I always enjoyed when you would come up to visit your gramma (your mother) and my mother (your sister). I so appreciate you taking my mother along on your journey to Europe to meet relatives for the first time. I will always remember staying with all of you in New Jersey in 1976 and the great time I had there. You gave me a special treat by firing up the planetarium you made and gave me a show that made me dream of the stars. I remember being allowed to tag along to the army base where you were doing some engineering work and how for some reason that made me feel special. 
You worked so hard to put together the Pollenz genealogy. I was so impressed you included Tony and me in there. You will never know how special that was. I know you will still be around, looking after your wife, kids and my mother.
Posted by Lori Lotz on March 6, 2019
Unfortunately I didn’t know Uncle Dick very well as times our families got together were when I was too young to really remember. But a few things more recent stand out to me. First is the wonderful and dedicated work he did on the Pollenz genealogy. I think everyone enjoyed the fruits of his labors as it kind of gave a sense of belonging. I really appreciated his generosity in that he gave me my books as a gift, knowing I probably couldn’t afford them. (Oops - was that supposed to be secret?) anyway, it was a loving gesture and something I cherish. I was also privileged to visit with Dick and Ginny (along with my mom and husband) back in ... maybe 2010? while they were still in Huntsville. Although a short visit, we enjoyed very gracious hospitality from them. And as has been stated by others, Dick’s love and care for Ginny was so evident and inspiring.
Posted by Margo Meehan on March 6, 2019
We are so touched by the care and compassion Dick gave in caring for my sister Ginnie, all these years. He was always so welcoming when we came to visit. He taught me to listen better, helped me with a term paper in high school. He shared Ginnie with me so we were able to attend quilt shows and when our Mom was in Hospice for a month. We enjoyed sharing their 50th anniversary cruise to Alaska with them. He was a good man and will be missed very much.  We offer our deepest sympathy to Kathy, Rick, Kris, Shelly and their families.
Posted by Dana McCloud on March 5, 2019
My Uncle was a one of a kind person and as was eloquently stated, he was able to live life always as himself. He had more self confidence than almost anyone I’ve ever known. He was a passionate and sensitive human being . He had a sense of humor that maybe only the Pollenz clan would understand . It seems almost be a genetic trait passed down from his father, my grandfather. His devotion for his wife ( Ginnie) , was his greatest passion. His work on our family genealogy is a treasured gift of love to all his family. My deepest sympathy’s , thoughts and prayers are with my cousins Kathy, Rick and Kristine and their families and to my mother Shelley.
Posted by Kristine Dale on March 5, 2019
I will never forget Jeremy and I visiting you in Alabama in 2013. We went to Cathedral Caverns and you got us lost on the trip back to your house. We stopped to ask directions from a man at his mailbox, who in the middle of the day was wearing a bathrobe, and not much else. You asked him how to get to get back to the highway. He said, " you can't." We all laughed hysterically. He did, eventually, give us directions. But we weren't sure if they were actual directions until after a few miles when we found the highway. All 4 of us laughed all the way back. Its a nice memory.
Posted by Shelley Carlson on March 5, 2019
I am overwhelmed by all I could say about my baby brother. Although we were separated by geography all of our adult lives, we managed to remain close and connected and I knew Dick would always be there for me.
His knowledge of classical music was astounding! I remember seeing a car commercial on TV that included some very beautiful and distinctive music, and I tried unsuccessfully to find out what it was. Some time later, I was taking to Dick on the phone and mentioned my dilemma. He said, “Hum a few bars”, and after (rather badly) getting out a few notes, he said, “That’s from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.” Of course, he was right.
His astounding genealogy of our family has enriched my life, and our amazing trip together to Vienna and Prague to visit our roots was a major highlight of my life.
But I remember my brother most of all for his hilarious sense of humor, which came out in his writings as far back as his college years, and as recently as our emails back and forth prior to our trip to Europe, ( all of which I have preserved).
Be at peace, Baby Brother, until we meet again.
Love, Shelley
Posted by Megan Pollenz on March 5, 2019
The mug you gave me holds an even deeper place in my heart, just opening up that package and seeing the mug and the inscription made me smile. Having you live in Florida these last few years was a joyous one, being able to bond with you more through the game of golf.
Posted by Richard Pollenz on March 5, 2019
I will remember the funny times and when you did things that defied your high level of intelligence like backing the VW out of the garage with the back hatch open or using a pin to unclog a connection in a pressurized water pipe leading to the humidifier in NJ. Perhaps small errors, but I did realize that life is not a game of perfect and one grows and learns from those situations. I know you are in a better place and I will continue to use the creativity and self reliance that you gave me. Peace.
Posted by Jeffrey Clements on March 4, 2019
I remember playing miniature golf with you and three-year-old Luke and you teaching him how to putt. You were quite surprised when after three hits Luke decided to just pick up the ball and put it in the hole. But you kept working with him on his game. Little did you know that you were planting a seed in Luke for a lifetime of enjoying golf. I am glad he had an opportunity to play golf with you after he got much older.
Posted by Kathy Shannon on March 4, 2019
Thinking of you, dad.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Shelley Carlson on January 18, 2020
Missing you little brother. So many times, something comes up that I think “Oh, I have to call Dick and share this with him.” But I’m just so grateful that we were able to take our wonderful trip to Vienna and Prague and to connect in such a loving way. Save me a seat.
Posted by Luke Clements on March 12, 2019
You were a real provider, a respected military man and an amazing grandfather. Thank you for all the memories, they will never be forgotten. Thank you for all the advice you gave me as I grew older, the wisdom you shared with me will always stay with me. I know the impact you had on my life will continue to guide me in the right direction, and I will forever be grateful.
Love your grandson Luke
Posted by Bill Carlson on March 8, 2019
Although the times I did get to spend with Uncle Dick were too few and too short, I remember them fondly. From the earliest gatherings back at Gramma and Grampa’s in Springfield, to later years when he was in to visit Mom, I always remember him for his intelligence, his wit, and his passion. I wish I had been able to know him better, but like my brother and sisters have already said, I’m so thankful for the geaneology he put together for the family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all as you remember the amazing, unique individual Dick was.
his Life

Obituary

Tampa, Florida —With great sadness the family of Richard (Dick) Pollenz announces his passing on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 after an emergency hospitalization, at the age of 84 years.

A family service and celebration of life is planned for a future date. Memorial donations can be made to any organization of your choice in his memory or a donation can be made to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America in support of his wife: https://alzfdn.org/support-us/donate/.

Richard’s stand-out quality was his unique ability to “be himself” throughout his entire life. He was intensely creative, competitive, determined, often irreverent, highly intelligent, and he thrived on challenging himself in the pursuit of his passions, whatever they were at any given moment.

Out of all other focuses, though, the most pivotal for him was his 62-year marriage to his wife, “Ginnie”. They married in 1957, the same year they both graduated college. In his own words he writes that “Ginnie has truly been my better half.” As a team they shared their enthusiasm in wide-ranging activities that included sports, community and religious organizations, and nurturing work, such as becoming hospice volunteers. Richard also had a deep love for his West Highland Terriers. He served as a volunteer at a Huntsville animal rescue shelter in recent years.

Richard was born in Chicago, Illinois on January 18, 1935. He attended Notre Dame as ROTC and graduated in 1957 on the Deans List with a degree in chemistry and two minor degrees in math and philosophy. He received a master’s degree in meteorology in 1962 and another specific masters in military strategic command in 1966. He decided to apply to Mensa in his late 70s “just because” and achieved an active membership.

Lt. Colonel Pollenz proudly served in the US Army Signal Corps from 1957 to 1979, participating in five overseas assignments, including Korea, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia. He served in the Office of the Chief of Staff at the Pentagon. State-side, 11 assignments eventually moved the family through each region of the United States. After his military career he worked in Huntsville, Alabama as a system engineer for aerospace companies.

Richard had many abundant passions and participated in them all with abandon. He was a consummate athlete. In his early years he competed in hard-played sports such as handball and squash – and with a level of competitive focus that resulted in breakage of various body parts in his quest to win the match. He was a life-long golfer, a family sport that he started long before high school. In later years, he ran marathons. In his 40s, he and his wife built cross-country bikes and then completed many 1000+ cross-country trips together.

He was passionate about the arts, and maintained an extensive 3000+ cataloged classical CD collection that ranged from old masters to modern classical and advent guard. He continued to play his clarinet up until the last months of his life. He read voraciously, usually several books at a time. He wrote throughout his life, publishing papers within a career environment, but also extensively writing and self-publishing creative personal and family memorials. He became a cross-word aficionado and was able to publish some of his cross-word creations.

Pollenz family genealogy research became an ongoing hobby of his and he published his historical findings in two large family books and to an invite-only website. As an important celebration of this research he and his sister, Shelley, visited Europe and connected with previously unknown relatives. They were able to also trace and honor Pollenz ancestors who perished in World War II.

Richard Pollenz is remembered in love by his family – his wife of 62 years, Virginia Pollenz, of Tampa, Florida, son Richard Pollenz and his wife Anne Costello, of Tampa, Florida, and his grandchildren Scott Pollenz and Megan Pollenz, of Florida, daughter Kathy Shannon, her partner Jeff Clements, of Orlando, Florida, and grandchild Luke Clements of Tennessee, and daughter Kristine Dale, her husband Jeremy Dale, of Gilford, New Hampshire, and grandchildren Joshua Perkins and Jake Perkins, of New Hampshire.

He is survived by his sister, Shelley (Pollenz) Carlson, of Barrington, Illinois, and his nieces and nephews and their families: Kyle Carlson, Dana McCloud, William (Bill) Carlson, David Carlson, and Lori Lotz.

The family would like to say in closing -- all life is precious, and time is not promised. As you choose, please celebrate Richard by celebrating your own life and the love of your family and friends, in his honor.

Peace.
Recent stories

Forty-two

Shared by Kathy Shannon on March 6, 2019

“O Deep Thought computer," he said, "the task we have designed you to perform is this. We want you to tell us...." he paused, "The Answer."
"The Answer?" said Deep Thought. "The Answer to what?"
"Life!" urged Fook.
"The Universe!" said Lunkwill.
"Everything!" they said in chorus.
Deep Thought paused for a moment's reflection.
"Tricky," he said finally.
"But can you do it?"
Again, a significant pause.
"Yes," said Deep Thought, "I can do it."
"There is an answer?" said Fook with breathless excitement.
"Yes," said Deep Thought. "Life, the Universe, and Everything. There is an answer. But, I'll have to think about it."
...
Fook glanced impatiently at his watch.
“How long?” he said.
“Seven and a half million years,” said Deep Thought.
Lunkwill and Fook blinked at each other.
“Seven and a half million years...!” they cried in chorus.
“Yes,” declaimed Deep Thought, “I said I’d have to think about it, didn’t I?"

[Seven and a half million years later.... Fook and Lunkwill are long gone, but their descendants continue what they started]

. . . Both of the men had been trained for this moment, their lives had been a preparation for it, they had been selected at birth as those who would witness the answer, but even so they found themselves gasping and squirming like excited children. . .

". . . I don't think," added Deep Thought. "that you're going to like it."

"Doesn't matter!" said Phouchg. "We must know it! Now!"
"Now?" inquired Deep Thought.
"Yes! Now..."
"All right," said the computer, and settled into silence again. The two men fidgeted. The tension was unbearable.
"You're really not going to like it," observed Deep Thought.
"Tell us!"
"All right," said Deep Thought. "The Answer to the Great Question..."
"Yes..!"
"Of Life, the Universe and Everything..." said Deep Thought.
"Yes...!"
"Is..." said Deep Thought, and paused.
"Yes...!"
"Is..."
"Yes...!!!...?"
"Forty-two," said Deep Thought, with infinite majesty and calm.” 

― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Dad loved to read science fiction and was a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan. He used "forty-two" as a catchphrase for anything odd or ironic that might have occurred as a short-cut to say "Oh well, that's life." 

"Forty-two," he would say.

Dad was a frequent visitor to a restaurant in Huntsville called Nothing But Noodles. When I say frequented, I mean that the people at the restaurant loved him and mom, knew them by name, came to sit with them when they came in, and always brought them special food and desserts that were not even on the menu. 

When I was in Huntsville I obviously went with them and at that time, the owner had another odd habit of plying dad with mangos because there had been some conversation between them about how "American" mangos were nothing like the mangos from his country and he wanted dad to experience the "real" fruit. I ended up with a bag of mangos from one of our dinner visits and ended up making a mango pie. Slightly off subject, but it shows the level of interaction with dad and the folks at that restaurant.

Noodles was set up where you would order at the counter and afterward, you were provided a wooden number to stick at your table so they could locate you with your food. Dad would often collect these wooden numbers by inadvertently (or so he said) taking them home in his pocket. He would bring them back in batches, which was possible because they went to that restaurant all of the time. But I think the truth was he was laying in wait for "his number." 

"I just need to get 42," he would say.

Finally, one day, it was granted to him. I was not in Huntsville at the time but he called me, all excited, to let me know he had finally gotten the little wooden number 42. He was so inspired that he framed it and hung it up in the garage.

We disassembled the house in Alabama in preparation for the move to Florida in 2016 - a major downsize operation. I did not grab that little item from the garage. I now wish I had it, just because. 

"Forty-two," dad.

Mozart Clarinet Concerto part 1 (Martin Fröst)

Shared by Kathy Shannon on March 4, 2019

Dad played this particular Mozart concerto on his clarinet often and as recently as 2017. He had also discovered the amazing musicality of clarinetist Marin Fröst within the last 18 months and liked to listen to Fröst daily because it made him happy. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVXFONkLPok