Pauline (Polly) Dinsmore McGowan Stadnik joined her husband of 29 years, Paul Harrison Stadnik, Sr in eternal life on January 12, 2020, in Albany, Georgia.
Polly was born December 15, 1957, in Langdale, Alabama, to John Benton and Joan McCrea McGowan, Sr.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents and by her brother, John B McGowan, Jr.
She is survived by her beloved children, Lauren Banks Stadnik and Paul Harrison Stadnik, Jr. She is also survived by her sisters, Joan McGowan LaGrasse (John) and Diana McGowan Morehead, sisters-in-law Sandra Stadnik Hughes and Paula Stadnik Aldridge, several nieces and nephews.
Polly graduated from Pepperell High School, Lindale, Georgia (Class of 1975) and the University of Georgia (1979) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. She also received a master’s degree in Spanish Education from Valdosta State University in 1990. While at University, Polly accepted her legacy as a member of the Delta Gamma sorority. She enjoyed lifelong friendships with many of her Delta Gamma sisters.
Polly began her teaching career at Albany High School before joining the faculty of Westover High where she taught for 25 years. After retiring from public school, Polly accepted a position at Deerfield Windsor School in Albany, where she taught Spanish through December, 2018.
Among her many accomplishments as an educator, Polly was recognized as Star Teacher of the Year, coached the competitive cheerleading squad for over 10 years and was advisor to the Senior Class, overseeing all aspects of graduation at Westover High during her tenure there. In addition, she was advisor to many student groups and led the Literary Teams at both Westover and Deerfield to state championships several years in a row.
Throughout her career, Polly was well respected and loved by her students, their parents and her fellow teachers. She particularly enjoyed traveling with her students to Spain, gaining understanding of the Spanish culture. She loved teaching just as she loved her students, many of whom maintained friendly relationships with her long past graduation.
Quick to offer words of encouragement or a helping hand, Polly was a well-loved and valued member of our community and in true southern fashion, was the master of her kitchen. Her cornbread dressing graced the holiday tables of many Albany families and her jams and jellies were a coveted Christmas gift.
Always a gracious hostess, a trusted and loyal friend and a beloved wife and mother, Polly was the true epitome of the Southern Lady. She was a member of Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church.
The family will receive visitors Wednesday, January 15th, from 6 until 8pm at Mathews Funeral Home, Albany, Georgia.
The funeral service will be held at Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church on January 16th, 2020, at 3:00 pm with a short graveside service to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery, 1907 Dawson Road, Albany, GA.
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