Welcome to the memorial page for

Alice Pauline "Polly" Ballard Miller Short

February 21, 1936 ~ March 27, 2017 (age 81)

Alice Pauline (“Polly”) Ballard Miller Short, age 81, passed away in her sleep on March 27, 2017, surrounded by family. After struggling with Alzheimer’s for several years, she has gone home and is now celebrating in her new body and life in Heaven.

Polly was born February 21, 1936 to Alan and Mary Ballard in Parma, Idaho. She was the 4th of 4 siblings and was the last surviving sibling. After Polly graduated from high school, she married her high school sweetheart, Gordon Miller, in 1954 and they moved to north Idaho. They settled down, bought property to start a sheep farm and had three children. Along with being a housewife and mother, she was a support to her husband running the farm and the Miller’s Farm and Garden Store in Hayden Lake, Idaho.

In 1981, Gordon passed away in a farming accident. Two years later, Polly met Alvie Bernard Short at the feed store. They fell for each other while building rabbit cages together. Polly and Alvie were married in June, 1984. Alvie brought four adult children to the marriage. It was always important to them that there was a true blending of the families. They both deeply loved and cared for all of the children as their very own.

After selling the farm a few years later, Polly and Alvie moved to Post Falls, Idaho, where they spent a number of years caring for Polly’s mother, Mary Ballard, and Polly’s former in-laws, Grace and Roy Miller to their last days. In 1999, Alvie and Polly moved to DuPont, Washington, in order to live closer to one of his sons and his family and to be near Fort Lewis, because military life had always been important to Alvie.

Polly loved to sew. She made her own version of Cabbage Patch dolls, dolly dresses, aprons for her daughters and daughters-in-law, among many, many other items. She also was gifted in decorating cakes, which she made for birthdays and weddings. Polly loved to cook delicious food from her garden. Regardless of where she lived, she kept a vegetable and flower garden. There are so many memories of family gatherings around a table filled with amazing food from Polly’s kitchen. She and Alvie kept active by walking five or more miles most  days. You could always count on a walk when going to visit them. For them each day started by reading the Bible and doing the daily jumble word puzzle together. They were also involved at the Fort Lewis Main Post Chapel and the Refuge ministry in the Olympic Peninsula where Polly loved to be an encouragement and support to the ladies.

No matter how she was feeling, Polly always had an open, compassionate heart for those who were sad or struggling. She was quick to offer a hug or kind word, even to strangers. She often had a uplifting compliment for anyone she talked with. Her smile was infectious. Her humor and wit could lighten even the heaviest of situations.  She modeled her faith in God in a way that influenced and impacted the lives of so many. She will be deeply missed.

She is survived by daughters and sons-in-law Joyce and James Miller, Laurel and Joseph Norman and Debbie and Paul Reese; sons and daughters-in-law Walter and Nancy Miller, Chuck and Debbie Short, Bernie and Paula Short, and David and Sharon Short; 17 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. Her husband, Alvie, passed away October 19, 2016. They had been married 32 years.

The family wishes to thank Alina Goman and the staff at West Hills Assisted Living in Hamilton, Montana for their compassionate, loving and tireless care for Polly in her final months. The amazing care they provided went above and beyond all our expectations.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Refuge, where Polly and Alvie volunteered their time and donated their money:

A joint private memorial service for Polly and Alvie will be held in Portland, Oregon at the end of April. A burial ceremony for Polly will be held on July 1st at the Rimrock Cemetery at 11AM with a potluck picnic to follow at 12PM. Rimrock Cemetery, 20005 Hudlow Road, Hayden Lake, ID 83835

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