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Friday obituary

Obituary for Friday, October 18, 2002

Robert Polley

Jan. 13, 1931-Oct. 9, 2002

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. -- Robert Edward Polley died Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2002. He was born in Columbus, Ohio, Jan. 13, 1931, to the late Arthur J. and Mabel Leah Steele Polley. He was raised in Columbus by his parents, and in Webbville, Ky., by his foster grandparents, Oscar and Nora Hensley Hicks. After a checkered youth that included dropping out of high school three times, he went into military service. He took the GED test during basic training. When he returned from service in Korea, he entered Morehead High School in Kentucky; in the fall of 1957, he taught in Medicine Lake, Montana. There, he met and married Beulah Marsh, who was a teacher in the same school. Bob is survived by Beulah, his wife of 44 years; one son, Kevin D. Polley; three grandchildren, Michael Todd Polley, Alicia Jeanette Polley and Kevin D. Polley; two great-grandchildren, Joseph Francis Guzzo Polley and Geoffrey Martin Polley; and a sister, Jewell Polley Roese. Bob's oldest sister, Virginia Polley Roseberry Medina, died in 1980.

Bob was a retired professor of Edinboro U. of Pennsylvania. He was a professor of anthropology specializing in research in Appalachian Culture. After his retirement in 1989, he wrote a cookbook and then began to do genealogical research on his and other families of eastern Kentucky, which resulted first in a small book on "The Polley Family." He then expanded his research and wrote a book, "My Ancestors Our Ancestors Your Ancestors." This book has been revised three times, the last time in July of this year. His first book after retirement was a cook book, "The Three R's," which also went through three revisions, the last revision was finished in August, 2002.

Bob came from an ancestry in which everyone believed in God and the Bible, but where a relatively small number were members of a church. This was due to the belief that a conversion experience had to be felt before you could be baptized. Bob never had such an experience, was never baptized, and in fact, did not believe in the existence of a divine being. Bob never tried to impose his belief on others, in fact, most of his friends and acquaintances did not know of his belief. Bob had a sign in his office which said "Dead is as old as you can get." That was his belief to the end of his life.

Bob was cremated. There were no services and he requests that no flowers should be sent. He suggested that if anyone wants to give something, they should give a gift to one of their loved ones.