Over the course of nearly a century, Dorothy Polcyn experienced many historic events from major world upheavals like World War II and the fall of communism to smaller, still impactful changes including the television - black & white AND color - air conditioning, washing machines, laptop computers, and electric cars.
No matter what was happening in the world, it was the more intimate moments with family and friends, fishing, playing games like Scrabble, or just sharing in a big laugh that mattered most to her.
She would often be found reading books and watching horror movies - both needed to be as gory as possible. She also had a plethora of TV shows from dramas like Dallas to Sci-Fi shows such as Quantum Leap. But watch out if you called while one was on - she’d get off the phone fast with no apology.
Later in life, after moving into assisted living, she developed a passion for gambling. From bingo to poker she regularly annoyed her fellow residents by winning the pot that started with twenty-five cent bets.
Polcyn always had stories of her own to share, including her work at a factory that built airplane parts during World War II. She would chuckle remembering that if one of the ladies dropped a screw they would comment they hoped it wasn’t a necessary part.
She would also regale friends and family about her time behind the counter at Bernie Bros. Bakery, especially about when customers would return three-quarters eaten cake because it didn’t taste good.
Polcyn also worked at Maryann Bakery, which is the founder of the poppy seed hot dog bun for which Chicago-style hot dogs are known for - hot dogs were one of her favorite meals, so much so that when the assisted living added them to the menu, they made sure she got two.
Over the course of her life, she would repeatedly say how she never expected to live as long as she did - including when her oldest child turned 60 to when her first great-grandchild turned 16. She relished every moment she had all the way to the end.
Polcyn, a Chicago native who most recently lived in Smithtown, died on Nov. 30. She was 96.
Polcyn was the beloved wife of John Julius Polcyn, who died in 2009. At first, he was not a love interest, but simply the brother of her best friend. But in the end, she married the boy next door. They had 61 years together.
She is survived by daughter Rosemary Mori; grandchildren Angela and Carl Corry, Philip and Nicole Mori, Rebecca and Charles Vallone; and great-grandchildren Charlotte, Catherine, Penelope, and Charles John.
Viewing will be at St. James Funeral Home on Friday from 4-8 p.m. A Mass will be held at Parish of the Holy Cross located at 95 Nichols Rd, Nesconset at 10 a.m.
Dorothy will be cremated and interred next to her husband at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Ill. She asked that the inscription "Together Forever" be written on their memorial stone.
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