Our mother, Pauline Louise “Polly” Wherley, happily lived her 96 years of life and peacefully ended her time on earth at her home on June 1, 2022 after a period of declining health.
Polly was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio to Rosa Valentine and Dominic Tolotti. Both of her parents’ families originated in the small village of Tuenno in the Trentino province of Northern Italy where distant cousins still reside. The 3rd of 4 children, she is survived by her siblings June (Jim d. 2018) Poyer and Carl (Marsha) of Louisiana and Florida respectively. Also surviving are children Sue Worth and Steve of Dover, Amy (Jeff) Goodman of Copley, 14 loving grandchildren, 13 sweet great-grandchildren, along with many caring nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, older brother Robert, and his wife Margaret Tornabene.
Polly grew up in New Phila near Tuscora Park where she skated on the lake on many winter evenings. She became a daily fixture at the pool on summer days and she eventually earned responsibility as a lifeguard. In high school she was a cheerleader for the Mighty Quakers. After graduation Polly attended business school in Columbus, worked in Chicago, then returned to New Phila to to work as a secretary for Cummins Diesel. Post-WWII, our mother met a handsome young man at a friend’s party where she was told she could “talk to” any man there except Dale Wherley. Polly always had a mind of her own; she and Dale were married in 1948 at Sacred Heart Church in New Phila. The couple settled in Dover in a cozy red brick home built by the groom where they lived for over 70 years. They raised us children amongst a loving “village”of family and friends and celebrated 67 years of marriage before Dale’s passing in 2015.
Our mother was active in many social and charitable organizations where cherished, life-long friendships were formed. Bargain-hunter shopping trips to favorite Canton retail shops were essential to fashionable Polly and like-minded friends throughout her life. She kept herself physically fit by healthy eating and dedicated lap swimming at the YMCA most early mornings for many years. After retiring from the former Reeves Bank, Polly and Dale became “snowbirds” every winter at Flagler Beach, Florida where they enjoyed spending time with sister June, brother Carl, and other friends and visitors. Grandma (Nanny) Polly loved each of her grandchildren and they loved her; she was there for babysitting, over-nighters, and swim dates. Finally, our mother was known for baking THE most light and delicious cinnamon rolls around. She lovingly baked those delights for any loss, illness, celebration, or just a “thank-you-very-much” gift for countless grateful recipients.
Towards the end of her life, God’s plan provided dedicated caregivers for Polly. Eldest daughter Sue (RN) and granddaughter Annemarie, along with Steve and Amy, ministered to her needs 24 hours/day so she could spend her final days at home. The family would like to thank the many caregivers and professional hospice workers, especially Sonya, Gale, and Taylor, who supported and comforted our mother. Your heartfelt kindness will always be remembered.
Polly was an active member and frequent volunteer at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Dover for over 70 years. Friends and family are invited to celebrate our mother’s life with calling hours on Wednesday, June 22, 5 - 7 pm in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory, Dover; the Rosary will be prayed at 6:45. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Thursday, June 23, at 10:30 am, in St. Joseph Catholic Church; Fr. Jimmy Hatfield will officiate. The Mass may be viewed by visiting the YouTube or Facebook links on the church's website, www.stjosephdover.org. Burial will be with Dale in Western Reserve National Cemetery, Rittman. To sign an online guestbook and share a fond memory of Polly, please visit the Tribute Wall on the funeral home’s website.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Polly’s memory may be made to the Tuscora Park Foundation, St. Joseph Catholic Church, or Community Hospice.