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Douglas Roy Pollington
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Birth: Sep. 5, 1924
Hamilton Municipality
Ontario, Canada
Death: Jul. 6, 2011
Waterloo Regional Municipality
Ontario, Canada

In Memory of
Douglas Pollington
September 5, 1924 - July 6, 2011

Pollington, Douglas Roy
It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Douglas Pollington in his 87th year. Surrounded by his family he died peacefully at the Cambridge Memorial Hospital on July 6, 2011. He had a very productive life with the fire service, service as the Cambridge Fire Chief and President of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs and Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs. Margaret (Thomson), who was the love of his life for 67 years died the day prior to his passing. He was also pre deceased by his daughter, Sandra Rallo and her children Jason and Stephanie Rallo. Survived by daughter Janice Orovan (Bill) and David Pollington (Gayle), Grandchildren Danielle and Ryan Pollington, Kyle and Matthew Welsh. We wish to thank the staff of St. Luke's Place for all their care and support to Dad during his stay with them. Visitation will be held at T. Little Funeral Home & Cremation Centre at 223 Main Street, Cambridge, (519 623 1290) on Sunday July 10 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9. Funeral Service will take place at Central Presbyterian Church, 7 Queen's Square, Cambridge on Monday July 11 at 10:30 am. The family will greet family and friends following the service. Interment to follow at Woodlawn Cemetery. (should be Woodland Cemetery, Hamilton).

Together at last, in peace
They fought for justice for their family to the end
David Bebee/Record Staffpolington2Margaret and Doug Pollington seen inside their Cambridge home.
They will be buried in the grave that already cradles their daughter and granddaughter. Their remains will fill the empty space that has long been waiting for the body of their grandson.

The grief has finally ended for Doug and Margaret Pollington, 35 years after their beloved family was murdered by their son-in-law, Jon Rallo. On Tuesday, sweet and gentle Margaret died peacefully of complications from Alzheimer's. On Wednesday, after raging against the dying of the light, Doug succumbed to complications from a massive heart attack.

Margaret did not know her husband of 66 years had been hospitalized on Sunday. And Doug, who slipped into a coma, did not know his wife had passed.

"Neither one had to grieve the other's death," their son David says. "So it was as it should be."

Margaret was 84, Doug was 87.

The Pollington family has known tragedy of a scope and depth few can imagine. And they chose to live it publicly. Doug and Margaret spent decades fighting for justice for their family and advocating for victims' rights in Canada.

The Parole Board of Canada has said there is likely no other family in this country who has had such a long relationship with the system.

The August 1976 murders of their daughter Sandra, 29, their granddaughter Stephanie, 5, and grandson Jason, 6, are among our city's most notorious and heartbreaking. Rallo killed each of them in their outwardly lovely family home and then dumped their bodies in area waterways. Stephanie and Sandra were discovered within days. Jason has never been found.

To this day, Rallo denies murdering them. He lives in a halfway house in Sudbury after being imprisoned on three counts of first-degree murder. Each year he has a parole hearing during which he takes no responsibility and shows no remorse. Until just a few years ago, when their health became frail, Doug and Margaret would make the ghastly trip to the prison to beg the parole board to deny Rallo his freedom.

At each of those hearings, sitting in a tiny room with the killer they once welcomed into their fold, Margaret and Doug would stand up and ask Rallo the same question: Will you tell us where Jason is?

They never got an answer.

They met while roller-skating at the Royal Alex rink on James Street South. Doug was on leave from the navy, Margaret was as pretty as can be. They wed in 1945 and had Sandra, then Janice and David. Doug became a Hamilton firefighter and later fire chief in Cambridge.

When their eldest daughter was 15, she began dating Rallo, who was 20. The Pollingtons did not approve of the age difference and did not particularly like Rallo. But he made their daughter happy and so, they relented.

Jason and Stephanie were their treasures. On their last visit together, the children came for a swim in their grandparents' pool. Days later Doug was at the morgue, identifying the body of his granddaughter, the tan lines from her swimsuit still visible on her skin.

The Pollingtons were tireless in their fight to convict Rallo and keep him in jail. They lobbied for more access to information for crime victims and never missed an opportunity to remind the public or the parole board of all Rallo took from them.

They made their last trek to a hearing in 2006. Soft-spoken Margaret broke down while delivering her victim impact statement and could read no further.

Doug's voice rose in anger as he pointed at the triple-murderer.

"Nothing changes in my life," Doug said. "I've got three kids who are dead who shouldn't be dead because of that bastard."

Margaret's Alzheimer's swept away her recollections of Rallo. She lived her last years in a long-term care facility. "To the very last day she had a sweet smile for everyone," says Janice.

Doug, after a first heart attack, moved into a nursing home.

"He was determined he was going to get the best of every day," Janice says.

Her dad, despite needing oxygen and a walker, still took the bus to Tim Horton's to buy treats for his nurses.

Doug and Margaret would visit each other on weekends and spent hours sharing happy memories of the old days roller-skating, vacations, the children which Marg recalled well.

To the end though, Doug still fought against the man who killed his family. Just last week, he received a letter from the parole board telling him Rallo would be coming to Hamilton for a visit. The killers' parents well into their 90s still live here.

"He swore and vowed to go to the next parole hearing," says David, who was with him when the letter arrived.

Marg, true to her nature, had planned and prepared for her death years ago. She picked out her hymn, her dress, her funeral home.

Doug resisted even after he knew it was inevitable. "I'm dying. Help me," he raged at the hospital. He had so much unfinished business.

He would be pleased to know firefighters intend to pay their respects by forming an honour guard at the funeral.

"Mom and dad are finally free of the burdens of the world," says Janice. Burdens that Janice and David now carry alone.

The funeral is Monday, 10:30 a.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, in Cambridge.

Susan Clairmont's commentary appears regularly in The Spectator.

Family links: 
  Roy Livingston Pollington (1900 - 1975)
  Florence Foster Pollington (1902 - 1973)
  Margaret H. Thomson Pollington (1927 - 2011)
  Sandra Pollington Rallo (1947 - 1975)*
  Ross Livingston Pollington (1922 - 1992)*
  Douglas Roy Pollington (1924 - 2011)
*Calculated relationship
Woodland Cemetery
Hamilton Municipality
Ontario, Canada
Plot: section 16, Lot 1359
Created by: Allan Dettweiler
Record added: Jul 08, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73010218
Douglas Roy Pollington
Added by: Allan Dettweiler
Douglas Roy Pollington
Added by: Valerie Gray
Douglas Roy Pollington
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Miriam Ridge
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

- Lance
 Added: Nov. 11, 2012
I knew and was a friend to Stephanie years ago... Still to this day I miss seeing her smile that lit up a room. I congratulate you on your efforts to defend your daughter and grandchildrens rights! You will be missed by many. A good fight you fought! ...(Read more)
 Added: Apr. 11, 2012

 Added: Jul. 8, 2011

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