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Donna J. Polus

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Donna Jean Polus, 79, passed away peacefully at home on the morning of March 26, 2021. She was surrounded by her loving husband and children. Donna was born on April 6, 1941, in Charlevoix, Michigan. She was the daughter of Frank and Pearl (Wright) Neumann.

She enjoyed her childhood with her brother, John, in East Jordan, Michigan. She met the love of her life, Lawrence Polus, at a dance in East Jordan on her 15th birthday. They were married a year later in Elmira, Michigan, where they started their family. They lived there until August 1969, when they moved to Gaylord. They were happily married for 64 years.

As a young bride, Donna earned her high school degree through correspondence courses and quickly moved on to earn her Associate Degree from North Central Michigan College. She continued her studies and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University. She spent years working on her studies and obtaining her degrees. Over the next 30 years, she raised 5 children and worked full time as a teacher and, eventually, a Principal within the Gaylord Community Schools. Donna was honored as ‘Mrs. Otsego County”, for her homemaking and domestic skills.

She especially enjoyed traveling with her husband and gathering with her children and grandchildren. She was an expert seamstress and an avid reader. She loved listening to country music and spending time outdoors.

Donna’s grandkids adored her free spirit and witty sense of humor.  She lived her entire life as a generous, compassionate, and loving person. Her favorite pastime, during recent years, was taking trips to the cabin ‘up north’ (Brimley casino.)

She is survived by her loving husband, Lawrence: her two daughters, Marlene (Ed) Bailey of Elk Rapids, MI, and Margie (Bill) Benca, of Woodstock, GA; her two sons, Michael (Kris) Polus of Curtis, MI, and Max (Pam) Polus of Cadillac, MI.; her eight grandchildren, Tucker, Katie, Laura, Paris, Jess, Jack, Hallie, and Sam.

She was preceded in death by her youngest son, Mathew Polus, and her brother, John Neumann.

The Polus family will host a memorial service, for Donna, in June.

In honor of Donna’s greatest joy, the family is requesting that donations be made by generously tipping your waitresses and servers, this summer, as our restaurants continue to open.

Arrangements were entrusted to Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, PO Box 1548, Gaylord, MI 49734.

20 comments on “Donna J. Polus”

  1. Marlene , Mike, Margie, Max, and one of the greatest guys I’ve had the privilege to grow from a kid into a man Larry. So sorry for your loss! Your wife, mother and grandmother, educator and beautiful lady , one of the best has left this world. Love you all. may god be with you in your time of need.

    • Besides her family, Donna served her community and school system well. She was an excellent teacher and principal for the Gaylord Community Schools. May she Rest In Peace.

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      1. Dear Mike, Kris and girls,
        I am so sorry for your great loss. During the time we were neighbors I saw the great joy and love you had for your parents. Donna sounded like a beautiful person and loving Mother.
        God Bless you🌹

      2. To Donna’s Family:
        I am so very sorry for your loss. I worked with Donna for a number of years at Gaylord Community Schools. She was a wonderful teacher and administrator and was such a positive advocate for our GCS children. She will be missed.

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      3. Donna was a dear lady who was my boss at South Maple School. I was a Teacher’s Assistant there for many years. She gave me one of the best Evaluations in my career stating that I could teach children as well as any teacher. I never forgot that meaningful tribute she honored me with. She was an amazing woman who had so many accomplishments in both her professional and personal lives. I am truly sorry for your loss, she was taken from you too soon.

        • Margie, I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Know you’re in many prayers, be comforted. She must have been a very special woman to have a daughter turn out like you.
          Vicky(Ken) Glasser

          • Barbara Switalski

            Larry and family, we are saddened to hear of Donna’s passing. She was a great teacher, principal, mother, grandmother and wife. You are in our prayers. Mike and Barb Switalski

            • Shocked to hear news. Donna was a caring, loving, devoted person. Great smile and wonderful personality. She will be missed by everyone

              • Shocked to hear news. Donna was a caring, loving, devoted person. Great smile and wonderful personality. She will be missed by everyone

                • Dear Larry and Family, We were deeply saddened to hear of your loss. Donna was a wonderful person in so many ways. She was a great mother, educator and friend. It was a great experience having her as an administrator, mentor and friend while worked as the Kindergarten Center and S. Maple. She will be missed and we are sending hugs and prayers to you and your family. Duane and Jan Hoffman

                  • Dear Larry and Family, We were deeply saddened to hear of your loss. Donna was a wonderful person in so many ways. She was a great mother, educator and friend. It was a great experience having her as an administrator, mentor and friend while worked as the Kindergarten Center and S. Maple. She will be missed and we are sending hugs and prayers to you and your family. Duane and Jan Hoffman

                    • Marlene and Margie. I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I’m sure you’ve told this a million times, but anyone who knew your mother liked her. Knowing you both since high school and seeing the way your lives have developed over the years goes to prove that she was, indeed, a wonderful mother.

                      My condolences to you both and your families.

                      • Marlene and Margie. I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I’m sure you’ve told this a million times, but anyone who knew your mother liked her. Knowing you both since high school and seeing the way your lives have developed over the years goes to prove that she was, indeed, a wonderful mother.

                        My condolences to you both and your families.

                        • Larry and family
                          I am sorry to hear about Donna.
                          I always enjoyed waiting on you at the
                          Flap Jack.Know that I am thinking of you
                          At this time,
                          Your friend,
                          Lana Mckernan

                          • Larry and family
                            I am sorry to hear about Donna.
                            I always enjoyed waiting on you at the
                            Flap Jack.Know that I am thinking of you
                            At this time,
                            Your friend,
                            Lana Mckernan

                            • Phyllis Kelley-Gill

                              Sympathies to Donna’s family. She was a wonderful person, friend, teacher and mother. She was a devoted school employee.

                              • CASIMER Leo DZWIK

                                Larry and family – So sad to hear that Donna had passed a few days short of her 80th birthday. Remembering helping her & my Elmira classmate, Larry (BUCKY)Polus decorating the West Elmira dance hall for the wedding reception of Larry’s cousin Walter Polus & his wife Jan that took place there on Sept. 9, 1961. “A REAL FUN TIME”. I, Casimer(camy) Dzwik later married a nurse in Hastings, Mi. We also had 3 sons & 2 daughters. Our 1st son, Gregory Michael Dzwik was killed in a car/deer accident on Oct. 25, 1967. He is buried in our family lot in Battle Creek located in a huge Memorial Park Cemetary next to Larry’s Aunt Mary(Polus) McNeil & her husband Ed. We were close friends here also. Our love, sympathy, & hugs to you all -XOX- CASIMER DZWIK

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