Published in The Tennessean
on January 22, 2010
POLAK, Edward Stephen
Age 83, of Gallatin, TN. Died January 19, 2010. Mr. Polak was born November
30, 1926 in Warren, RI, and graduated in 1944 from Warren High School,
receiving all-state honors in baseball.
He received a baseball scholarship to the College of the Holy Cross for
the July 1945 semester. Upon completing his freshman year,
Mr. Polak entered the Army Air Corps and was trained as an aircraft &
engine mechanic, specializing in B-17 Bombers. After 18 months of military
service, he returned to Holy Cross, where he received a Bachelor's Degree
in Secondary Education in 1950.
During his senior year at Holy Cross, he was captain of the baseball team
and was voted by the College Coaches Association as a 3rd string All-American.
Upon graduation, he was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals to play in their
farm team system in Lynchburg, VA, Winston-Salem, NC, and Allentown, PA.
In 1951 he joined General Electric Company in Pittsfield, MA and had subsequent
Manufacturing assignments in Rome, GA, Clyde, NY, Auburn, NY and Syracuse,
In 1967, Mr. Polak joined Butler Manufacturing Co. and worked on various
manufacturing projects in Kansas City, MO. He then joined National Steel
in 1974 where he was plant manager at subsidiary, Stran Steel in Houston,
TX, and held executive assignments at National Pipe & Tube in Liberty,
Mr. Polak joined Kirby Building Systems in July 1980 as Vice President
of Manufacturing with plants in Houston, Spanish Fork, UT, and Portland,
TN. He transferred from Houston to the Portland plant in 1985, from which
he retired in December 1991.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Simon and Johanna (Tupaj) Polak,
Warren, RI and by brothers, Frank (Josephine), Barrington, RI; Benedict
(Comer), MA & FL; and sister, Stella (Benjamin) Smusz, Santa Barbara,
Survivors include wife, Jacquelyn Stevens Polak, Gallatin, TN; daughters
Susan Todd (Kenneth) Seufert, Farmington, MO; Mary (Michael) Sottilare,
Birmingham, AL; Elizabeth Polak, Columbus, OH; grandchildren Emily and
Michael Sottilare; brother, Frederick (Emily) Polak, Warren, RI and several
nieces & nephews.
Mr. Polak was a member of American Legion Post 17 in Gallatin and Our
Lady of the Lake Catholic Church. As a member of the Blue Grass Golf Club
he was a single-digit handicap golfer.
A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2009, 1 p.m., at
Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church, Hendersonville, TN. Entombment will
be at a later date at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in Birmingham,
Memorial donations can be made to Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church,
1729 Stop 30, Hendersonville, TN, 37075 or the Bishop's Annual Appeal,
Diocese of Nashville, 2400 21st Ave. South, Nashville, TN 37212