B. Pauline “Polly” (Wood) Wells passed away peacefully March 17th, 2013 at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley, surrounded by her children, after suffering a massive heart attack the day before. She had just celebrated her 90th birthday the week prior with a party at Quail Ridge Senior Living, where she’d resided since 2010.
Polly was born to Bertha Belle Pinion Wood and Homer Hopkins Wood on March 10th, 1923 in Lovingston, Virginia. She grew up on her grandfather’s farm with her mother and extended family after her father, 2 brothers & a sister all died when she was a young child. She graduated from Lovingston High School and Madison Teachers College (now James Madison University) in 1941 with a degree in education. She was teaching first grade near the marine base in Quantico, Virginia when she met and fell in love with her very own marine, Walter Critchley Wells. They married in Shipman, Virginia in April, 1947. Polly and Walt lived the typical military life, moving between postings in California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Virginia and back to California as they raised 4 children. When Walt retired after 21 years of service, they moved their family to Grass Valley/Nevada City in 1963, where he accepted a job teaching at Nevada Union High School. Polly’s priority was always her family, and she volunteered for just about every activity her kids were involved in: scouts, swim team, choir, school sports & church events. She was active in the Gold Flat Fire Dept. Auxiliary and the Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, logging over 3500 hours of service, including many as the Cookie Chairman for Blood Drives. She was a great cook who never needed a recipe and loved feeding her family and all their friends. She alternately loved and cursed all the deer and other wildlife that frequented her Banner Mountain home, depending on whether they were just lounging or eating all her flowers and vegetables. She enjoyed fashion and needed extra closet space for all her matching shoes, hats & purses. She loved playing the slot machines at nearby casinos. Polly never met a stranger, and her smile and laughter will be remembered by all who were lucky enough to know her.
She was preceded in death by her husband Walter in 2006. She is survived by her children Helen Howard of Bullhead City, AZ; Fred & Joyce Wells of Nevada City, CA; Anne & Dan Beatie of Meadow Vista, CA; and Mary & Gary Deardorff of Nevada City, CA; grandchildren Paul (Cheri) Beatie and Ross Beatie; step-grandchildren Rob (Sandy) Howard, Barbara (Andy) Bloom, Trish (Brian) Buzby, David (Jennifer) Evans, Sheri (Steve) Mueller, and Ann (Wayne) Mackey; and step great grandchildren Steven & Sean Howard; Austin, Alexandra, Samantha & Michael Bloom; Kevin Busby; Josh, Colin, Blake & Sean Evans; and Jack & Natalie Mueller.
All her friends are invited to a memorial service and celebration of her life at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 13th, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 235 S. Church St. in Grass Valley. Memorial contributions may be made to Emmanuel Episcopal Church or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Chapel of the Angels Mortuary.