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Dickey Jones Pollich
June 8, 1915 ~ January 27, 2013 (age 97)
Dickey Carol Jones Pollich, whose sense of wonder and curiosity about life brought her the gifts of love and compassion, passed away at her home at the age of 97 in Carlsbad, California on Sunday, January 27, 2013.
Dickey was born in Los Angeles on June 8, 1915 to Carol Guthrie Jones, and F. Richard Jones, an early Hollywood movie director and film editor. Dickey thrived on the attention of folks from her father's work in the film industry (including her uncle, Willie), as well as her mother's joy at having such a beautiful child. She had a rich and wonderful childhood.
At the age of seven, Dickey and Carol moved to Paris, France. Soon after they arrived, Dickey went to school and found she had an aptitude for French. Shortly after their return to Los Angeles two years later, her father died from tuberculosis. After graduation from Beverly Hills High School, Dickey went to and graduated from the University of Southern California.
It was during freshman year of college that Dickey first saw Gardiner Pollich, who was soon to be President of the Student Body, an intercollegiate rugby player, and a recipient of USC's Diamond Medal Award. Within three years, they were engaged.
Their wedding was a small affair. Photographs of the couple on their wedding day show the happiness they felt on their November 22, 1939 wedding date. They spent their honeymoon at Catalina Island.
Upon returning from their honeymoon, Gardiner went back to school to get his teaching certificate. He taught for one year and decided that the Navy would be a better career choice for him. After Supply School, Gardiner received orders for Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Both Dickey and Gardiner were excited about living on an island in the tropics. They left the states in 1941.
The morning of the Japanese raid on December 7th was a Sunday, and Gardiner's ship, the USS West Virginia, unfortunately was sunk. Dickey was five months pregnant and was ordered to take the first American ship back to San Pedro, California while Gardiner helped to prepare his new ship, the USS St. Paul, for its christening in Boston. He would spend the rest of the war on the St. Paul and would witness the Japanese surrender first hand on the USS Missouri.
When the war was over, they moved to Northern California, where their second child, Gardiner Elliot Pollich, was born October 23, 1946 at Oak Knoll Naval Hospital in Oakland. Their next posting was for Trinidad, BWI, and Geoffrey Richard Pollich was born there on September 18, 1949.
After three years in the Washington, DC area, the family moved again, this time to Moffat Field, in Mountain View, California. Peter Howland Pollich was born on September 11, 1953.
The next stop took the Pollich family to Newport, Rhode Island, where Gardiner attended the Naval War College. The year swept by quickly. New orders arrived in March that would take the family to Key West, Florida for two years.
After Key West, Gardiner was ordered to the Bureau of Personnel. He was a Captain in rank and this job would take him back to D.C. The family made their home in Falls Church, VA.
Following this latest stint in D.C, the family, minus Christine who had married, moved to Rota, Spain. This posting was the capstone of Gardiner's career and Dickey loved every minute of it as they made many excellent friends both on and off the naval base that would last for many, many decades. While in Spain, Christine gave birth to her parents' first grandchild, Felicia.
The family returned from Spain in 1964, again to the D.C area, and lived in Alexandria, Virginia where Gardiner was to work at Cameron Station. It was here that he received the Legion of Merit medal and citation from the government he had faithfully served. He deserved it and was very proud of this accolade, but soon, it was once again time to move for Uncle Sam.
Before Gardiner and Dickey left for his next position in Oakland, there was a family wedding. In 1968, Gardy married Patricia Mahoney in August. The new couple moved to Belmont, North Carolina for college. Geoffrey would also join Gardy at Belmont Abbey college.
In 1970, Gardiner told Dickey he was thinking of retiring after his thirty years of service. They were living east of Oakland in Walnut Creek at the time Gardiner made his announcement. He retired in 1971. The government hired Gardiner for highly confidential work. Even Dickey didn't know what he actually did at work or where his travels took him.
In 1979, Dickey and Gardiner bought a second home in Borrego Springs and split their time between the desert and their permanent home in Walnut Creek. It was a long drive to make several times a year, so in 1983 they sold the Walnut Creek home and purchased a house in Vista, California. This would remain their home for many years.
Dickey told friends that "Gard can play all the golf he would like, if he will take me traveling," and that is exactly what they did. Throughout the 80's and the early 90's, Dickey and Gardiner went to Mexico, China, Eastern Europe, Switzerland, England, Germany, (arriving right after the Berlin Wall fell), New Zealand, Australia and a trip to Egypt to take a boat up the Nile.
Both became involved in the community by volunteering with organizations that needed their help. The Boys & Girls Club, the Vista Rotary, and many others used their talents to organize and raise money. Dickey said about this time of their lives, they got to do exactly what they wanted to and assist people while doing it.
In spring of 1994, Gardiner was diagnosed with cancer, and he passed away on December 22, of that year.
Dickey threw herself back into her volunteering. In 1997, she was awarded with the highest honor a community can bestow on a volunteer, The Dove Award for San Diego County. She said at the time, "Without Gardiner teaching me how to be an effective volunteer, I would not be here today."
After 12 years in the Vista house following Gardiner's death, Dickey moved into an assisted living community at Emeritus in Carlsbad, CA. Her four children, eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren all visited her over the years. Many friends dropped by and brought her music CD's, they knew she would love. She enjoyed the friendship of many during her years in Carlsbad, and charmed the nurses and caregivers in her assisted living home with her smiles, wit, and song. She is dearly missed by all who knew and loved her, but she left a warm and lasting legacy on family and friends who will always remember her with a laugh, a smile, and an amazing anecdote about her. May she rest in peace after her long life.
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