|Birth: ||Aug. 3, 1922|
|Death: ||Aug. 25, 2013|
Gene, who was not given a middle name, was the second oldest child and second oldest son of Arthur James and Laura Alice (Fitch) He was born at home in Phelps County, not in Harlan County as indicated on his birth certificate. He lived on the family farm until shortly after graduation from Holdrege High School when he moved to Kearney to attend Kearney State College (now the University of Nebraska at Kearney). He attended classes for one year during the day and shoveled coal at night to pay his way. Math was his major.
When World War II began he enlisted in the Army Reserves and went into the Army Air Corps for pilot training. During officer training in Brady, Texas, he met and married Helen Oleta Bradshaw. They had known one another for only two weeks. After the war the family that now included a baby moved to Atlanta, Nebraska, until he could locate a farm to operate. While waiting, he broke horses for a living; the fee was $15 a head. A place about a mile south of town became available before long and the family moved in. He started a successful farming operation that continued until the owner decided to let a relative live on the farm instead of renting it out. Gene moved his growing family to Holdrege and found a job as a car mechanic.
When they married, he'd promised his wife a house they could call their own, and after a few years in Holdrege he purchased a tiny house on the edge of town. It took a year or two, but with a few exceptions such as the electrical work, he single handedly updated and expanded it to accommodate the family that had grown to six. Not only did he install air conditioning (!), he built a bomb shelter that was accessed through the basement.
After his wife's death at the young age of 46, he met and married Soffia Elizabet (Benjaminsdottir) Lindholm, a widow with three children still at home and one married daughter. With his two oldest children already on their own, the blended family consisted of Gene, Soffia, and five kids between the ages of nine and 18. They made the decision to live in Kearney, where she and her children resided when they met. Gene worked as a car and plane mechanic until he retired.
In addition to a high IQ and good looks, he inherited the dementia that had plagued his father and paternal grandmother. When it became pronounced, he moved to Mt. Carmel Keens Memorial, a long term care facility, where he lived until his death yesterday (August 25, 2013) at the age of 91 years 22 days. He died from a fall five days earlier that resulted in a pelvis broken in three places. He was in terrible pain and simply didn't have the strength to recover. Coincidentally (?), he died on the 35th anniversary of his father's death and what would have been his son's 62nd birthday had he not died an untimely death several years ago.
Although only 5'6" and slight, he loomed large in the lives of his loved ones. Rest in peace, Dad. We'll miss you.
Arthur James Polhemus (1888 - 1978)
Laura Alice Fitch Polhemus (1893 - 1998)
Helen Oleta Bradshaw Polhemus (1923 - 1970)*
Edward Arthur Polhemus (1951 - 2002)*
Lee Alan Polhemus (1955 - 2015)*
James Arthur Polhemus (1919 - 2005)*
Eugene Polhemus (1922 - 2013)
Laurel Beth Polhemus Pierson (1924 - 2014)*
Lynn Polhemus (1926 - 1997)*
Prairie Home Cemetery
Created by: SKP
Record added: Aug 25, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 116065638