Polly H. McCulley

February 20, 1930 ~ March 23, 2021 (age 91)



February 20, 1930 – March 23, 2021

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel:  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.  For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” – Isaiah 43:1-3a NKJV

“Hear this, nations! God’s Message! Broadcast this all over the world! Tell them, ‘The One who scattered Israel will gather them together again. From now on he’ll keep a careful eye on them, like a shepherd with his flock.’ I, God, will pay a stiff ransom price for Jacob; I’ll free him from the grip of the Babylonian bully. The people will climb up Zion’s slopes shouting with joy, their faces beaming because of God’s bounty— Grain and wine and oil, flocks of sheep, herds of cattle. Their lives will be like a well-watered garden, never again left to dry up. Young women will dance and be happy, young men and old men will join in. I’ll convert their weeping into laughter, lavishing comfort, invading their grief with joy. I’ll make sure that their priests get three square meals a day and that my people have more than enough.’ “God’s Decree.”  Jeremiah 31:10-14 MSG

Polly was called home in the early morning hours of March 23, 2021, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  She had recently celebrated her 91st birthday.  Through her struggle with this deplorable disease, one constant remained the same: her absolute love for Jesus. 

Polly entered Training College right after she graduated high school.  She was commissioned a Probationary Lieutenant from the Peacemakers Session on May 28, 1949, in the Southern Territory.  Polly wrote:

“I graduated high school while we lived on Beech Street.  Daddy sold a pig so I could have $20 for my graduation dress…an unheard of price in our household.  In fact, I still don’t like paying that much for a dress.

I went to training college while we lived at ‘207’ (Beech Street)…Mildred gave me $100 for graduation, which bought items necessary for life in Atlanta.  Daddy sold some more pigs to pay the $100 tuition and I ended up with $7.95 when I arrived at training college.  I had about that much when I was commissioned.”

Lt. Polly Combs was in charge of the girls’ club in Atlanta, GA when she met a young man working at the Bellwood Boy’s Club by the name of Rex.  She fell deeply in love with him, and they were married on February 21, 1953.  Together, they joined forces to win the world for Jesus.

Their first daughter, Patricia was born in Dalton, GA in 1954.  Not long afterward Rex was drafted into the United States Army.  Eventually, he would be stationed at Fort Carson, CO and Polly and Patty followed.  After his tour, Rex entered The Salvation Army’s Training College in San Francisco, CA.  Upon his commissioning in 1957, Polly was re-commissioned as Lieutenant and their first appointment was to Laramie, WY as the Corps Officers.  Their second daughter, Susan was born in Laramie in 1958.  Rex and Polly continued to serve faithfully with their family in Sheridan, WY, Butte, MT, Ketchikan, AK (third daughter, Cathie born in 1968), Roswell, NM, Mesa, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, Fresno, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, Billings, MT, El Paso, TX and finally in Santa Cruz, CA.  Polly retired from officership on July 21, 1998, with 44 years, 10 months and 18 days of active service.  She went on to serve and spread the love of Jesus in “post retirement service” at the San Bernardino ARC from 1998 to 2013.

Major Polly McCulley is preceded in death by her husband, Major Rex McCulley and her daughter, Susan McCulley.  She is survived by her daughters, Patty Keeley of Ketchikan, AK and Cathie McCulley of Riverside, CA as well as her grandsons Chris Rhodes of Ketchikan, AK and Jordan McCulley of Anchorage, AK and her granddaughter, Karli Tipps of Bishop, CA.  She also leaves behind her sister, Nancy Register of Pensacola, FL, two sisters-in-law, Jerrylene Bolding of Dalton, GA and Marie Crump of Fort Worth, TX, and many nieces and nephews.

Although the family is saddened and grieving the loss of such a faithful woman of God, we rest in the fact that she is reunited with her loving husband and daughter. She led a blessed life and we cherish the fact that we were a part of that life. 

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at The Salvation Army Riverside Corps, 3695 1st Street.  Lt. Colonel Joe Posillico (R) will officiate.  The service will also be live streamed via Facebook Watch.  Cards and messages of condolences may be sent to Patty Keely and Cathie McCulley at 5390 Greenbrier Dr., Riverside, CA  92504.

“My mom, my role model, my friend…Loved with a love that will not end!  She gives unselfishly to all, whether it be family or friend who calls.  A true Christian woman whose faith is sure; whose walk with Jesus rings clear and pure.  A true “Southern” lady with a heart of gold, whose belief in family is strong and bold.  Mom shares her love from deep within, and gives it over .and over and over again.  She shares her laughter with twinkling eyes, and holds one close when one cries.  My mom is a treasure, I will love her forever!”  Susan McCulley, Christmas 2007

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Akes Family Funeral Home, Riverside, California

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Memorial Service
April 24, 2021

2:00 PM
Salvation Army Riverside Corps
3695 1 st Street
Riverside, CA 92501
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