Donald Polries, age 97, of Carrington, formerly of Sykeston, ND, died Thursday, April 6, 2017, at Golden Acres Manor, Carrington, ND.
Donald John Polries entered this world on a farm near Sykeston, North Dakota, on January 19, 1920. He was the oldest child of Elizabeth (Thury) and Mathew “Math” Polries. He was later joined by sisters Evelyn, Lorraine, Eleanor and brothers Alvin and Louis. All six of the Polries children learned the value of hard work on the farm as they worked side-by-side to help their parents.
Don attended school until eighth grade, and then began his life's work as a farmer. His career was interrupted twice as he ventured out into the world. As a very young man, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, where he learned to operate heavy machinery, earning $30 a month, sending $25 of that home to his parents. During World War II, he served in the United States Navy and was a member of the Seabees, the Naval construction force. He was stationed in Japan, where he honed his heavy equipment skills building airstrips.
After the war, Don returned to Sykeston to farm with his brother Alvin. In 1952, he married Sheila Barry, and together they had eight children. Don and Alvin formed Polries Bros. in the 1960s, fed as many as 10,000 cattle, managed a large farming operation, ran a feed and seed business from their elevator, hiring local skilled workers to help with their operation. At one time, five families lived on the Polries farmstead, and the school bus could pick up 24 children in one stop.
Don was a leader in trying new farming and livestock feeding practices. His leadership was recognized by many organizations, including being named the Outstanding Agriculturist from Wells County by North Dakota State University in 1976. He was one of the first farmers in North Dakota to plant sunflowers and also experimented with various small grains and row crops. He kept a positive outlook through low prices, high interest rates, devastating hail storms and unforgiving droughts. He enjoyed nothing more than a good soaking rain, and his favorite vacation each year was going fishing in Canada after the crops were planted. When Don and Alvin retired, their sons took over the farming operation. Don lived in Carrington and Bismarck after retirement, before moving to Golden Acres Manor in Carrington, where he has resided since 2014.
Don gave generously of his time, talent and resources to his family, friends, neighbors, parish and community. He served on the St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church's Parish Council and the Sykeston School Board for many years. He was a member of the North Dakota Stockmen's Association, the American Legion Post #17 in Sykeston and the VFW Post #3524 in Carrington. Don bowled in a men's league, liked to snow ski and would travel many miles for an opportunity to waltz and polka all night long.
Don was very proud of his family and a sentimental birthday card or hug would easily bring a tear to his eye. He is survived by his sister, Lorraine Carr, Carrington; his children, Linda (Charlie) Donlin, Bismarck; Julie (Lyndon) Larson, Mesa, AZ; Peggy (Mark) Anderson, Bismarck; Patti (Bruce) Penas, Fargo; Larry (Cessna) Polries, Jamestown; Jon (Stephanie) Polries, Sykeston; daughter-in-law Kim Polries, Thompson; 22 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his infant son, Donald Michael Polries; son, David Polries; great-grandson William Polries; his parents; sisters, Evelyn Warren and Eleanor Erfle Knight; brothers, Alvin and Louis.
ROSARY AND PRAYER SERVICE:
April 18, 2017, in St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, 6:45pm Rosary, 7PM Vigil Service
St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church, Sykeston, ND
DATE AND TIME:
April 19, 2017 at 10:30AM
St. Elizabeth's Cemetery, Sykeston, ND
(Scroll down to send condolence)
Name: Stephanie Armstrong
Message: Dear Julie, I doubt you remember me, but I was a classmate of yours at St. Luke's School of Nursing. I remember your green Mustang. Sorry to read of the death of your father. He lived a long life, and sounds like a very interesting and progressive life. But no matter what their age, it is always hard to lose a parent. Hope you are well and again, my sympathy.
God Bless You and Comfort You. Stephanie
Name: Janice Klocke
Message: Sorry for your loss. I have many memories of your family from being neighbors. Thoughts and prayers are with you.
Name: Karen & Don Schumacher
Message: I remember your Dad during our "growing up" years in Sykeston - being involved in the community, church, farming - I'm sure he's being welcomed Home by everyone who went before him, and is "sidewalk farming" like they used to in front of the church after services!! Please accept our condolences -
Karen & Don Schumacher
Name: Mary, Randy, & Mitchell Bird
Message: To the Family of Don:
We were very saddened to hear the news of the death of Don. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you in this difficulty time.
Mary, Randy, and Mitchell Bird
Name: Dawn Phelps
Message: Peggy and Family,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.
Dawn and Leroy Phelps
Name: Eileen Larson Hunt
Message: I'm so sorry for all that this loss affects. May the good memories always bring a smile to your face and a warmth to your heart.
Name: Ann Mehelas
Message: Sending condolences to family and loved ones of Donald Polries. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
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