In loving memory of Gladys “Tucky” Elizabeth (Gorham) Polenske, who passed away Wednesday, March 1, 2000 at her home.
Gladys was born at home in Rainy River, Ont. on Sept. 24, 1924 to Ruth and Ambrose Gorham and big sister, Charlotte.
As a child and young adult, she loved the outdoors. She was an avid canoeist, hunter, angler, and trapper, trapping the skins for her own fur coat at age 17.
She graduated from grade 12 in Rainy River and acquired her grade 13 standing at Moulton College for Young Ladies in Toronto. She earned a degree in Physiotheray from the University of Toronto in 1946, when physio was an up-and-coming profession.
Her internships were spent at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, B.C. and Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg, where she worked extensively with paraplegics and quadriplegics.
On June 21, 1947, she was united in marriage to Frederick Otto Polenske. She continued her career in Fort Frances, treating many polio victims in Rainy River District during the polio outbreak.
In the 1960s, she left her private practice to start the Physio Department at La Verendrye hospital, where she worked until she joined the Home Care team, headed by her sister, Dede Mallory, in 1973.
During her years with Home Care, physiotherapy was expanded to include Rainycrest Home for the Aged as well as treatment throughout the district.
She retired from Home Care in 1989 but continued to treat clients through her private practice until recently.
She always remained very active in her profession, continually upgrading and taking courses to learn and acquire new techniques and skills.
She also was a very active member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and a Past Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, an avid curler, and life member of the Rebekah Lodge.
Gladys was predeceased by her parents and husband.
She leaves to cherish her memory her sister, Dede Mallory; daughter, Caren and son-in-law, Eric Fagerdahl, and their children, Erika and David; and son, Jay and daughter-in-law, Karen, and their children, Savannah and Serena.
Also surviving are nephew, Rob Mallory and his children; nieces, Charleen Mallory and her son, and Jennene Villieuve and her children; cousins, Virginia Niro, Enid and Jack Alderdice, Clyde and Blondie Ditmars, and Guy and Vi Ditmars; as well as many dear friends.
She also will be missed by her many canine friends who received treats of dog biscuits from her on a regular basis.
Memorial services were held Monday, March 6, 2000 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Anglican Church, with Rev. Jane Trivers officiating.
Honourary pallbearers were Marjorie Kalar, Virgil Stinson, Verna Roy, Pat Cresswell, Fronie Buffington, Bud Hannam, and Ron Helliar.
In memoriam donations may be made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, c/o Dave Thornton, 840 Frenette Ave., Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 2N5, or the Canadian Cancer Society, Box 444, Fort Frances, Ont., P9A 3M8.