Pauline "Polly" Place Johnston, 96, died peacefully while sleeping Friday, July 5, 2013, at her home. She was preceded in death by her husband, the late Robert (Bob) N. Johnston, to whom she was married for over 74 years.
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Polly Johnston, and her living identical twin Betty, were born Feb. 3, 1917, in Butte, Mont. Their father and mother were the late Ralph Waldo Place and Jeanette Thurolway Place. Polly had an older sister Adele and two brothers, George and Howard. Ralph Place was vice president of Metals Bank and Trust Company in Butte, which was owned by Anaconda Copper Company. Polly was a graduate from Butte High School and attended Pomona College, located in Claremont, Calif.
It was in Polly's second year of college one late afternoon, as she was leaving the college library to go back to the dorm, she heard voices behind her calling "Betty? Polly?' and "Polly? Betty?' she turned around and said "I'm Polly." Thus she met two fellow students who were roommates and good friends, Hugh Campbell and Bob Johnston. Together they went to the Sugar Bowl, had cokes and danced to the juke box before they saw Polly to her dorm. After that, Bob and Polly began dating, and by the end of the school year they were a couple.
That summer, Betty and Polly had jobs in Yellowstone National Park. Betty at Old Faithful and Polly at Canyon. Bob called and proposed to Polly, asking her to marry him.
She said "of course." Shortly after, Polly left and went to Texas after telling her superior not to tell Betty. Bob had mentioned how hot it was in Texas, but when Polly got off the train in Dallas she thought she would collapse, it was so hot. They were married in the Baker Hotel and the late Jimmy Walker, Johnston and Owens production superintendent, was best man.
Bob and Polly spent the next two years between Tyler and the University of Texas at Austin. Polly attended college a year and worked a year. Bob did his petroleum engineering courses.
After the war, Bob and Polly came back to Tyler - Bob in the oilfields and Polly active in the Episcopal and Presbyterian churches, the Junior League and the Gertrude Windsor Garden Club. Bob and Polly enjoyed living months each year in their home in Palm Springs, Calif. They leave two daughters, Susan Johnston Birdwell, married to Tab Birdwell and living in Boerne; Barbara Johnston Franklin, married to Jack Franklin and living in Aiken, S.C. Polly leaves behind four grandchildren, Kimberly Birdwell House, married to Garret House, of Chicago, Ill.; Tommy Birdwell, Houston; Will Franklin, married to Elizabeth Casillas, of Houston; Dr. Rob Franklin, married to Laurie Jenschke, of Weatherford. Six great-grandchildren remain and are honorary pallbearers: Curtiss House (19), Meagan House (15), Aidan Franklin (11), Joshua Franklin (10), Bree Franklin (7) and Colbie Franklin (3).
The family was blessed to have them. Because of their love we live; however, because of Christ's atoning love by faith, we can all live eternally.
A special thank you goes to Ms. Polly's caregivers: Dorthy, Kenneth, Kenny, Kim, Audrey and Angela, of whom we are most grateful for their love and dedication. Services for the family will be Monday July 8, 2013, 11 a.m. at Lloyd James Funeral Home, which will handle all funeral arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to your
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph from July 7 to July 8, 2013