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Obituary: Polhemus, Jean B.

POLHEMUS, Jean B. (Age 91) Beloved wife, mother, sister, grand and great-grandmother, friend - Jean completed her earthly tour and moved on to dance with her Marty again. Jean Lucille Bruene was born July 16, 1921 to Fred and Luella Bruene in Beaman, Iowa. She was an Iowa State coed when Marty spotted her gorgeous red hair, asked her to dance, and was totally hooked. Jean taught Home Economics after graduating, but soon moved to Providence, RI, where Marty was posted in the Army. They married on June 5, 1943. Over the next ten years, she bore six children, providing loving care, sound nutrition, and togs from her sewing machine. Family was first for Jean. She delighted in her kids, grandkids, and great-grands. Simultaneously, her unwavering support of Marty’s career and interests was key to his success. A steady stream of friends and Marty’s business colleagues enjoyed her luscious home-cooked dinners. Service to other was her defining quality. As the children grew, she volunteered, serving Whitworth Auxiliary for decades, and Manito Presbyterian Church as an Elder and in Women’s Ministries during her 51-year membership. She became keenly interested in Native American basketry, cataloged baskets for the Cheney Cowles Museum, and wove tiny specimens herself to add to her collection. Jean joined Marty in travels to Canada, Europe, the Middle East, and South America, and extensively in the USA. Over thousands of miles of road trips, she knit sweaters and embroidered counted cross-stitch treasures. When Marty dozed off at the wheel, she poked him, and on they went. At home, they loved their bridge group and nabbed anyone nearby for cribbage games. Her loneliness after Marty’s passing in 2002 was eased by her friends, especially gentleman Bob Gray over the past five years. Jean is survived by daughters Diane Packard (John) of Spokane, Lynne McNett (Marty) of Bellingham, sons Ray Polhemus (Cynthia Hallanger) of Spokane, Carl Polhemus (Kathy) of Denver, and Burt Polhemus (Patricia) of Spartanberg, SC, brother Warren Bruene of Dallas and sister Merle Turner of Postville, Iowa. She leaves ten grandchildren and nine great-grands. Preceding her in death were her husband Marty, sister Doris Richards of Jackson MS, brother Richard Bruene of Cedar Rapids, IA, daughter Donna Foster of Seattle, and granddaughter Sue Hagman of Mill Creek, WA. The family is deeply grateful to Hospice of Spokane for their compassionate service, to the staff of Rockwood Retirement South Hill for their expert and loving care, and to Jean’s many friends there, at her church, and at Whitworth Auxiliary. Jean’s life will be celebrated on December 29, at 3 pm at Manito Presbyterian Church, 401 E 30th Ave, Spokane. In lieu of flowers, donations are welcomed for Jean Polhemus Endowed Scholarship, Whitworth University Institutional Advancement, 300 W Hawthorne Rd, Spokane, WA 99251 or Manito Presbyterian Church, 401 E 30th Ave, Spokane, WA 99203 or Hospice of Spokane, P.O. Box 2215, Spokane, WA 99210.