Polly Talbott, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother passed on from COVID-19 on December 23, 2020. Her family and friends deeply feel the loss of her gentle, loving presence which her eldest granddaughter described as "pure love."
For the past ten years, Polly lived in a senior living community in Ft. Myers, Florida. Before that, she lived in the Florida Keys in a home on the water which became the family gathering place for 30 years. Her greatest joy was to be surrounded by her family and close friends, going on sunset cruises, searching for shells, tending her orchids, making fresh seafood suppers and key lime pies, entertaining her grandchildren, and offering "Polly Tours" to explore the surrounding natural beauty and interesting sights. She created a warm, colorful, and inviting home that was always open to the family and friends.
Polly grew up in Fairfield, CT. She graduated from The Thomas School for Girls and attended Vassar College until she met her handsome future husband at the St. Patrick's Day parade in New York City. Polly and Doug (aka Doccy) married and loved each other for 67 years until Doug passed several years ago.
Polly was born in 1928 in Syracuse, NY, to Carl and Goldie Snyder, who met while they were students at Syracuse University. Her father became an engineer for General Electric and is largely credited for inventing the dishwasher. Her mother was an accomplished pianist and musician. Her older brother, Richard, graduated from Amherst College, served in the U.S. Navy, and worked for the Rose Paper Company. Her maternal grandfather, Harlow Andrews, was a grocer who brought home homeless men for Sunday dinners. Polly demonstrated that same generosity of spirit throughout her life, both materially and through her unconditional love. Strangers became friends, and friends became family to her.
Polly and Doug spent the first year of their marriage in rural Cortez, CO, among the Navajo Nation while Doug explored his interest in becoming a country doctor. At age 19 Polly assisted (by necessity) in delivering babies, removing tonsils, and suturing wounds. They moved to San Francisco for Doug's medical residency, where their three oldest children were born. Then, Doug opened his medical practice in Dayton, OH, and three more children were born.
Polly loved gardening, animals, and children (babies, especially). In Dayton, Polly took care of their six children and created beautiful gardens around their home. She let her children have all kinds of pets - dogs, cats, birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and rabbits. She also fostered wild animals as a board member of the Natural Museum of History, including Polly the woodchuck, Racine the skunk, and Rennie the red fox. Polly volunteered for United Way and was both a Boy Scout den mother and a Girl Scout troop leader.
Polly always loved the sea and all sea life. Growing up on the Connecticut coastline, she frequently walked the beaches and collected shells, a passion that grew throughout her life and transferred to her children. Over time, she and Doccy amassed a beautiful shell collection, and Polly had two large saltwater fish tanks in Atlanta. They taught their children to snorkel and scuba dive on yearly family trips to the Caribbean and Florida, and on camping trips searching for a home in the Keys.
Polly (aka Momma/Nana) is survived by her six children, nine grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and good friends. Besides her unconditional love for people, she loved and cared about all of nature.
We would ask anyone who cares to donate in Polly's honor to please give it to the Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island (www.dingdarlingsociety.org).
A private family service for Nana and Doccy will be held later this year.