Onalee Mariah (Polly) Gildas, 92, of Alden, left this world peacefully at home on October 13, 2023 to enter her forever home with her Lord and Savior.
Polly was born April 30, 1931 to Blanche M. (Long) and Marrell E. Sherman in Mancelona.
She attended Mancelona High School where she played basketball for the Lady Ironmen She graduated in 1949. On January 1, 1950 she married James Gildas who was credited for giving her nickname.
Polly worked for many years in the Kalkaska school district assisting children with special needs. Her desire to help others also led her to open an adult foster care in her home where she provided care in elderly individuals. Once retired, Polly volunteered as a senior companion which she really enjoyed.
Polly attended Living World North Church and was a devoted servant of Jesus. She taught Sunday school and baked countless loaves of bread, pies, and cookies for the church bake sales. Her baked goods were also the highlight of family holidays. Dinner was not complete without a piece of her pie and everyone looked forward to the plate of goodies that she lovingly assembled for each family on Christmas Eve.
Family was important to Polly. She enjoyed spending time with them and was overjoyed when a new child was born. She loved her five generation pictures.
Polly was always entertaining her family with her wonderful sense of humor. Whether it was making tiny ice cream cones on bugles for her great-great grandchildren or blowing out her 92 candles with a leaf blower, she knew how to bring a smile to our faces.
Surviving her are four children, Elaine (Lucky) Spires of Alden, Jane Lopinski of Alden, Bill (Maryann) Gildas of Ocala, Florida, and Jim Gildas of Ocala, Florida. 7 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, several great-great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Preceding her in death are her loving husband James Gildas, parents, 2 sisters, 4 brothers, several nieces, one nephew, and a grandson, Brian Gildas.
Polly’s family is very thankful for her caregivers, daughter Jane Lopinski, nurse Jennifer and aid Donna.
A private graveside service will be held in the spring.
Arrangements are in the care of the Mancelona Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com.