In his home with his loving wife of 59 years and surrounded by his family, Jack Eugene Polen Sr., 79, Glenburn, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013.
Jack was born on Sept. 15, 1934, in Greene County, Pa., a son of Robert and Caddie Lenora (Holmes) Polen. He was raised in West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio, graduating from East Canton (Ohio) High School in 1953.
Jack joined the U.S. Marine Reserves in 1953. In 1954, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, joining the 11th Airborne, where he "jumped out of perfectly good airplanes!" until 1956. In 1957, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, achieving the rank of master sergeant before retiring in 1980. Jack worked as ground safety manager at Minot Air Force Base until his retirement in 1989. In his retirement he worked construction, sold insurance and bagged groceries.
Jack married Rhoda Snyder in Louisville, Ohio, on Nov. 6, 1954. They traveled throughout the globe with their seven children following his military career, retiring in Glenburn.
Jack loved his family and enjoyed life. He was an avid hunter, loved to travel, dressed up with his grandchildren on Halloween and dedicated many hours serving his community. Family gatherings were his pride and joy. He also enjoyed an occasional visit to the casinos with his family and friends. He became a published poet, drawing on his life experiences and family joys. Jack was not a man of many words, except when telling his stories, but he had a quiet strength, and a caring passion for people. He loved giving hugs. Being a fan of John Wayne, he became "our John Wayne".
Jack was a very proud U.S. veteran, and was a member of the 11th Airborne, the Disabled American Veterans and the American Legion. He was also a member of the National Rifle Association and the Hooterville Flion Lions.
Jack is survived by: his wife Rhoda; daughters, Darlene Gross, Paradise, Calif., Debra (Edward Rudolph) Noel, Glenburn, Linda (Cliff Sr.) Sanders, Glenburn, Julie (Knute Sr.) Ostlund, Berthold, and Kimberly (Brent) Johnson, Minot; sons, Jack (Mera) Polen Jr., Raton, N.M., and Thomas (Rini) Polen, Batam, Indonesia; 22 grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by: his parents; brothers, James and William Polen; great-grandson, Jayden Polen; great-granddaughter, Harly LeRose Polen; a baby sister and a baby brother, Donald.
Funeral: Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, Minot.
Burial: Rosehill Memorial Park, Minot.
Visitation: Monday, Sept. 30, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, Minot.
Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (www.thompsonlarson.com).
(Thompson-Larson Funeral Home, Minot)