On Thursday September 5, 2019, Paula E. Neyssen, “Polly”, loving wife and mother of three passed away at the age of 92.
Polly was born to Karl and Helene Kladivko in Flushing, Queens. She graduated from Barnard College with a degree in Economics in 1949. Her professional career included working as a department manager for Bloomingdales, a researcher of retail markets for the Federal Reserve and as a system service representative for IBM. She married the love of her life, Michael F. Neyssen, on August 4, 1957. They began their life together in Great Neck, NY where they started their family. Their first son Michael was born two years after their marriage. Over the next four years Michael was followed by their son David and daughter Linda. By Michael’s second birthday they realized that he was handicapped with Cerebral Palsy. This began a quest to provide as full a life for Michael as possible, a “Life Without Limits” as United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) now describes it. The quest lead to moving the family to East Setauket to be closer to the services her son Michael required. It was the beginning of a lifelong commitment to volunteer work that included being a member of the Community Advisory Board of Arbor House which cared for the developmentally disabled, serving on the Board of Directors of UCP of Suffolk, delivering for Meals on Wheels, running the annual Good Friday blood drive at St. James Episcopal church for years and serving as a telephone counselor for “Response” crisis hotline which she found both scary and exciting. In 1984, The Village Times presented the “Good Neighbor of the Year” award to Polly saying that volunteers like Polly “constitute that very precious link of people demonstrating that they care, which is the spark plug of any community”. She was honored again in 2009 when UCP of Suffolk presented her with their “Life Without Limits” award “in recognition of outstanding and invaluable service to the community”. Polly also enjoyed gardening, bird-watching and baking elaborate cakes for family and friends.
Polly was preceded in death by her husband, Michael and her sister, Carol Hayes. She is survived by her children, Michael, David and Linda (Robert) as well as many loving cousins, nieces and nephews. Polly was beloved by her family and so many other people whose lives she touched. She will be missed by all.
Visitation will be held at St. James Funeral Home from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM on September 11th. A Christian funeral service and burial will be held at 11:00 AM on September 12th at St. James Episcopal Church, St. James, NY.
Donations in memory of Polly may be made to UCP of Long Island, Development Office, 250 Marcus Blvd., Hauppauge NY, 11788.