Claire Francis Polman, 94, passed away at Serenity Living on January 9, 2019.
Claire was born May 16, 1924, to Nicholas and Mary (Phillips) Polman in Dearborn, Michigan. The family eventually made their way back to Minnesota. He graduated from Verndale High School in 1942. After graduation, he attended college in St. Cloud, for a few months before deciding to enlist in the Navy. He served aboard the USS Cape Gloucester CVE-109 and traveled the world towards the end of World War II. One of his favorite memories of that time was docking in Hawaii and having a furlough that allowed him to hitchhike all over the big island. He also took part in helping transport survivors from the Nagasaki bombing.
February 1, 1947, he married Regina Molmen, and they made their home in Sebeka. He had a wide variety of jobs throughout the years – butcher, bartender, insurance salesman – but his main occupation was owning and operating Polman Dairy, a milk delivery business that he took over from his father. He also supplemented that business with driving school bus. As a school bus driver, he came to know just about every kid in the Sebeka District. He drove bus for 31 years.
Claire and Regina enjoyed traveling together and had visited 48 states. For many years, they were snowbirds in Gulf Shores, Alabama and Rockport, Texas. They loved country music, dancing, and card parties.
Claire was very active in the community. He served many years on the Sebeka City Council, was a member of the American Legion Berg-Nylund Post 456 (where he also served several years as commander), was a charter member of the Sebeka Lions Club and was a member of the Sebeka Fire Department for 37 years. He also became quite the baker after retirement and was an avid reader. You could always find a good Western at his elbow.
Claire is survived by his daughters: Sharon (Mike) Heino, Sheila (Ellis) Bower, and Sheree Polman; son-in-law, Dan Biittner; his nine grandchildren: Michael (Molly) Heino, Heidi (Eric) Heino Nelson, Raina (Josh) Connor, Reggie (Laura) Kiser, Ronnie (Chris) Lee, Roxie (Quentin) Ness, Rusty (Lindsay) Kiser, Brandon Polman Biittner, and Kyle Polman Biittner; and 23 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Regina, his daughters: Sheryl Polman-Biittner and Shelly Mae; his parents, and his siblings: Duane, Donna, and Valerian.
Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, January 14 at 11 a.m. at Assumption of Our Lady Catholic Church in Menahga. Interment will be at St. Frederick Catholic Cemetery in Verndale.
Arrangements were with Wevley Funeral Home in Sebeka. Online condolences may be left at www.wevleyfuneralhome.com.