January 19, 1932 to July 4, 2012

Polly was born at Grand Forks, B.C., on January 19, 1932, to Alex W. and Annie M. Semenoff. She was the second child with an older sister Helen (Blanche) and two younger brothers, Paul (Jerry) and Alex.

Until Polly was wed she lived with her family at Christovoye (Place of Jesus), one of the villages established in the Outlook district of Grand Forks by the Doukhobor community. Her education began at the “Outlook School” which she attended, completing the fifth grade and into the sixth. Polly’s learning was cut short to assist her family as a wage earner at the local box factory. Our mother valued education highly and later always expressed a regret of not being able to complete her schooling.

During her younger years she participated in the cultural and spiritual activities of the USCC. Mom had many close friends and relatives in the villages nearby who she socialized with; growing up an attractive young woman with numerous suitors. Her marriage to George W. Popoff on February 27, 1951, created a daughter Kathy on December 17, 1951, and later, a son Gary on October 27, 1957.

As life does not always allow everyone to achieve their hopes and dreams, the marriage ended by 1960. Polly became a single mother with the demands of all parental and financial roles her own, while raising two growing children. Close family many times assisted but social support during those times was difficult to access and the stigma weighed heavily on her.

Yet Polly was able to maintain her tiny home, growing a huge abundant garden from which she made preserves for winter, filled the root cellar, fed her family, and had surplus to sell to the markets in town. In addition she foraged for berries and mushrooms, which were also preserved. To supplement her income Polly worked at local farms and also cleaned offices – all while making sure she was consistently there to provide direction and comfort to her children. And with limited time and resources she made strong attempts to further her education; first attending night school with Rita Platford in the mid 1960s while her children were young and again in the late 1970s after her children were all on their own. She also acquired her license and began to drive at 50 years of age.

With her children independent she was able to see some of the world, traveling into the USA, onto Hawaii, Mexico and even far in the other direction, Pond Inlet, the northern tip of Baffin Island. Polly’s greatest joy was swimming in our rivers. She swam as soon as the seasons allowed. Many times earlier, and almost always, far beyond the beginning of autumn as she found it difficult to stop. It was almost impossible to pull her out of the water. She would float on her back for hours. Her record had her in the Granby up to the end of October one year and she loved to swim in the moonlight when she could. She swam in a glacial stream at the 73rd parallel when she visited the Arctic. The ice was still 4 feet thick on the ocean a quarter mile away. Swimming gave her peace and allowed her complete tranquility.

As a grandmother she lived for her grandchildren – who she took great pleasure in feeding until they burst, and showing them off to her friends. She loved them to the exclusion of all else.

Polly passed away peacefully at Hardy View Lodge on July 04, 2012, with no doubt she was loved. Her family surrounded her. She was predeceased by her parents, Alex and Annie Semenoff; her sister, Helen Plotnikoff; and the father of her children, George Popoff.

Left behind is her daughter, Kathy (Wayne) Tblus with children, Darren and Lisa; her son, Gary (Mekai) with children: Gabriel, Michael, Penny and Catriona. Also left to mourn are her brothers: Paul Seminoff and his wife Lorraine, and Alex Semenoff.

Our mother is gone to be with the loved ones waiting for her, and to float in tranquility for eternity.

The family would like to convey perpetual gratitude to her family doctor, the nurses, care-aides and staff at the Hardy View lodge for their exceptional care. Our mother was always in an environment of humour, compassion, and respect. Every staff member treated her as a friend. Some like family.

An immense appreciation to those working so hard helping carry the proceedings through and allowing the family time to grieve; The pallbearers, Everett Baker and his staff, John Veregin for his kind thoughts, Uncle Jerry Seminoff for his direction, Uncle Alex Semenoff for his guidance, the USCC, the singers, the men at the grave site, the ladies who prepared the food, and anyone else who took time to assist.

And finally to everyone taking time in this busy world to attend the service and see our mother along her way. God bless you all! Funeral arrangements entrusted to Everett Baker of Grand Forks Funeral Home.

Grand Forks Gazette

Your condolences will be approved within one business day. You will need a valid Facebook account. Please email us if you have any questions.