Polly Rohrbach, known to many as “Mother Polly,” passed away on February 16, 2019. Loving mother, wife and friend, Polly is survived by her husband of 42 years Fred Rohrbach, three sons Christian (Jin Young), Kurt (Jenni) and Matthew (Katrina), siblings Charles, Lee, and Alice, as well as six grandchildren and countless others she considered her adopted kin. She is preceded in death by her parents Eugene and Pauline Peppard and her mother-in-law Gertrud Rohrbach.
Polly Ann Peppard was born in Missoula, Montana on April 18, 1946. She and her three siblings were raised under Montana’s big skies in the Flathead and Missoula Valleys where her adventurous spirit was fostered in the open and rugged country. She stayed in Missoula for college where she was a proud member of the Alpha Phi sorority and could be found cheering on the “Montana boys” at football games. In the summers she was a baker at the famed Sperry Chalet in Glacier National Park where she baked bread and pies for hikers visiting the remote lodge. During a semester abroad her love for travel was sparked while hitchhiking around Hawaii exploring remote beaches and playing guitar, one of many memories she would catalog in her detailed scrapbooks.
After graduating, Polly took flight as a stewardess for Northwest Airlines, where she made friendships and memories that would last a lifetime. She proudly walked to Tokyo and back in high heels, kindly served Vietnam soldiers as they left home for war, made friends with Muhammed Ali and found time between flights to ski in Austria’s Alps and take her parents on their first international trip. When she wasn’t flying she was having fun with her friends and faithful lab Jesse, exploring Minnesota’s Boundary Waters and the Puget Sound. Even close to home in Seattle, she found adventure, spending the night out of bounds at Crystal Mountain after taking a wrong turn in a snowstorm. She survived by building a snow cave and burning her last dollar to start the fire that would keep her and her companion warm through the night.
During this time she met her husband, Fred Rohrbach, and visited him in Saigon just before it fell to North Vietnam. She would occasionally recall her memories of listening to bombs from the top of the Rex Hotel, bemused by her youthful bravery. After they married she left flying for new adventures as the loving mother to three boys and wife to an international businessman. She always felt it was her calling to wrangle her wild sons on adventures of their own into Montana’s wilderness, on Crystal Mountain ski weekends where she proudly served as a ski host or just around Lake Sawyer. When she wasn’t spending time with her boys she was having fun with her friends and her much-loved dogs, including Millie, Leia, Lucy, Sophie, Gertie, Darby, Lolo and Freida.
Life was a hilarious, fun and wild adventure for Polly and all those that knew her. She will be remembered by many for her mothering, kind, caring and generous spirit, and by her grandchildren as the goofball ,who always brought the party no matter the circumstance with her vivacity and colorful outfits. No one was a stranger to Polly and she opened her home and heart to many whether over a vanilla latte, a glass of wine, or across the register at the grocery store.
A celebration of Polly’s life and spirit will be held on Saturday, March 30th at 2:00 P.M. at the Enumclaw Field House – 1456 Roosevelt Ave E, Enumclaw, WA 98022. In lieu of flowers donations may be made in Polly’s name to the Glacier National Park Conservancy’s effort to rebuild Sperry Chalet – http://www.glacier.org/sperry-chalet/action-fund. Please share a memory on the tribute wall at www.weeksfuneralhomes.com.