Lois Polaski

Oct 13, 2017

Lois Pauline Branigan Polaski passed away peacefully in hospice in Cape Coral, Fla., Oct. 6, 2017, at age 100 years, 3 months. She always said she would live to be 100.

She was proud of her roots in 17th century New England and she enjoyed the fact that her birthday was on the same day as the country’s. Born July 4, 1917, in the southeastern Ohio coal-mining district of Monday Creek (now part of Nelsonville) to George Branigan and Ethel Pruden Branigan, she was raised in Cincinnati where she spent many happy hours of the Great Depression at the cinema watching Busby Berkeley musicals. Each summer was spent with her maternal relatives in Monday Creek. She remembered those days fondly and always said that is where she learned to garden.

At the age of 17 she went East to New Jersey to live with her sister Kathryn whose husband was stationed in the Air Force there. She never returned to Ohio to live and at the age of 21, in 1938, she married Frank Polaski in Bayonne, N.J., to whom she was married for 58 years. One of her first jobs was as the Hollywood Gossip Columnist for the Bayonne Herald, using information supplied by the newspaper. Her youthful trips to the cinema certainly came in handy then.

In 1943 her only child, Kathleen, was born and after World War II they moved to the countryside of northern New Jersey where she got a job as editor of the in-house salesman’s magazine for Lederle Laboratories, a division of American Cyanamide. While there she started the Lederle Labs Garden Club and secured allotments onsite for those employees who wanted a garden. She worked there for nearly 20 years and then switched to writing copy for AAA Travel division and from there to becoming an independent travel agent specializing in group tours.

She and Frank loved to travel and visited many places on the globe. At the same time she continued to write articles and take pictures which she had published in many newspapers and magazines. In 1981 she and Frank bought a bungalow on a sailboat canal in Pine Island, Fla., where they wintered every year and enjoyed fishing and sailing. They returned to Westwood, N.J., to spend the summers .

She had a lifelong interest in writing, photography, and in her later years took up painting, leaving many lovely pictures behind. She had a fine singing voice and would spontaneously sing around the house and on car trips. She was in many church choirs, singing solos at weddings as well as in the group on Sundays. She was a life-long learner and enjoyed meeting new people and conversing with them.

She was predeceased by her parents George Branigan and Ethel Pruden Branigan, her sister Kathryn McKibben, her brother William Branigan, and her husband Frank Polaski.

She is survived by her daughter Kathleen Maseychik and husband Bill of Jackson; her four grandchildren, Meredith Toumayan and husband Paul of Jackson, Christopher Maseychik and wife Tammy of Northport, Nicholas Maseychik and partner Joanna Ball of Cambridge, England, and Justin Maseychik of Jackson; four great-grandchildren, Alexander Toumayan, Adrienne Toumayan, Anastasia Maseychik and Anoushka Maseychik Ball; and husband Andrew Mule of Cape Coral, Fla.; and many nieces and nephews.

A private graveside service will be held at Jackson Corner Cemetery, Jackson. Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home, Belfast. Memories and condolences may be shared at ripostafh.com.

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