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Ocean Beach 01


Eileen Ann Pollard

October 18, 1926

Sing me a song of a Lass that is gone, say could that Lass be Eileen .........

Eileen Ann Pollard was one of those special individuals that touched all those persons she met. A drop of golden sun. She had a smile of eternal sunshine and a sparkle of life that could not be dampened.  Eileen was born to Clarice and John Pierson, at home, October 18, 1926, at 3:10 A.M., in Santa Monica, California. She joined her brother Bill in a family surrounded by Aunt’s and Uncles in a world of love and attention. When the Great Depression came, Eileen’s family moved to Topanga Canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains. They lived in what would be considered by todays standards, a weekend cabin. Eileen’s father agreed to free rent in exchange for property and house improvements. For Eileen it was the ideal environment for her to grow up in. The house sat above a creek on a winding mountain road. She lived a Southern California version of, “Little House on the Prairie”. Her stories of her childhood proved that the Great Depression was a time for frugality and a lot of childhood adventures. Family and friends gathered often for picnics and hikes. In 1937 Eileen’s family moved back to Santa Monica. Eileen’s father was hired by the McDonald Douglas Aircraft Company. In 1942, Eileen had just finished up her Sophomore year at Samo High, when her father was transferred to the McDonald Douglas factory in Oklahoma City, where he was the night plant manager. With the country engaged in war, a good deal of manufacturing and military bases were opened in Oklahoma. This was a the choice of the government based on the fact that sheer location made them safer from attack. Eileen was 16 years old and fell in love with her new home. She worked for the Red Cross making diapers, as a Candy-Striper at the local hospital and attended USO dances. Eileen loved to dance. She and her girlfriends were bussed to dances with a chaperone. However, the chaperone did not keep Eileen from being engaged to four different fellows at the same time. At the tender age of seventeen, Eileen did not know how to say ‘no’ to a young soldier or sailor who was about to go off to war. Then Eileen met Earl and all engagements were off. Earl and Eileen saw stars when they met. The rest of the world was background when they were together. Every time Earl had liberty he took Eileen out on a date. He would show up for those dates with a bouquet of flowers for Eileen’s mother Clarice, booze for her father John, and a box of candy for Eileen as well as a silver charm for her charm bracelet. Eileen and Earl maintained their relationship through daily letters. Eventually Earl was stationed at Oak Harbor, Whidbey Island, Washington. While waiting for orders, Earl and his crew flew an anti-sub watch along the West Coast. Eileen was always on Earl’s mind since the night he met her. Being engaged was great, being apart was not. Earl at 20 years old, Eileen at 18, and with their parents written permission, were married in a base chapel in Oak Harbor on April 1,1945, Easter Sunday. This year, April 1, 2018, Easter Sunday, Eileen and Earl celebrated their 73 wedding anniversary.

As newlyweds during the war, they spent their first few months together moving from one farmhouse apartment to another. In late 1945, Earl was honorably discharged to civilian life. Eileen and Earl retuned to Southern California. Life after the war was a challenge. Competition for jobs was high. After a few years of job hopping, Earl became a Field Technical Rep with North American Aviation. By this time Eileen and Earl had two children, Catherine born in 1947, and Carol born in 1950. At one point, Earl and Eileen and their children moved 22 times in 24 months for his job. After a few years, the moving got old and they bought a home in Redondo Beach. Earl secured a desk job with North American.Eileen and Earl’s son Larry was born on the Fourth on July,1956. From that day forward, Eileen became a collector of all that was Red, White and Blue. Earl bought a toy canon which actually used gun powder and he would start every 4th of July with a BANG ! Eileen was the consummate Homemaker. She often sang or whistled while she worked. She read to her children until they could read to her. Eileen loved the yearly vacations to one of the many National Parks in the High Sierra’s.  Tent camping evolved into trailer camping. King’s Canyon, Sequoia, Hume Lake, and Yosemite offered fun and relaxation, as well as a few Black Bear’s trying to get into the Tupperware. During the 60’s, Eileen and Earl shifted gears and spent their vacations sailing to Catalina Island on their 29ft. Columbia Defender. Eileen was a wonderful First Mate as well as the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.  As fun as sailing was, it was no substitute for camping in the mountains. So boats disappeared and a truck camper and boat trailer appeared.

In 1979, Earl retired from his job of 30 years working for North American Aviation, which by that time became North American Rockwell. Eileen and Earl promptly moved to the Bitterroot Valley and built their home on 20 acres along Blodgett Creek. They had purchased the land in 1972 while on a vacation to the Valley. Why the Bitterroot? In 1966, the family drove to the Bitterroot to pick up their eldest daughter, Catherine. She had been staying with her finance’s parents, the Engel’s at their place in Victor. The entire family fell in love with the Bitterroot and eventually they all lived in the Bitterroot. Eileen enjoyed all that her new home had to offer with clean air, blue skies, good fishing, and vegetable gardens. Eileen and Earl spent many happy summers camping at Trout Creek. By that time their camping trailer had grown to 18 feet, with a small Bass boat trailered like a caboose.  Eileen was a social butterfly in every good sense of the word. She was a charter member of the Canyons when it was the Riverbend. Before the Riverbend was built, Eileen hiked everyday around the Blodget Canyon area with her friends. She was a volunteer at the Well Child Clinic and she was a member of the Hospital Auxillary. Many people came to know Eileen while she worked at the hospital gift shop. Her favorite social gathering was with her ‘Coffee Clutch’ friends. A fun and tight knit group, they loved and laughed at their luncheons, crafts and field trips.

Eileen lived as an adult as she did a child. One day at a time, always in the present. It’s not to say she did not plan, oh yes, she planned gifts for her friends and family months if not years in advance. Most of her gifts were handmade in the form of sewing, crafts or a needle craft. Eileen was also a talented tole painter. She knew how to make an apple shine and flowers ‘pop’! This was a woman who gave everything she did her all. Always a kind word, always a compliment! At 92 years old she met her goal of ‘Wearing out and not rusting out’.

With sincere appreciation to: the Spice of Life and the caring lunchtime crew. The family has nothing less than love, friendship, and memories. D.J., went above and beyond to transport Eileen and Earl to lunch when neither of them could drive. Ellen would drop by for a visit with her husband Joe and share their latest travels. Eileen loved to travel through the eyes of others. To the Remington: Eileen was in love with her home at the Remington and the staff. She watched the geese and ducks feed at the pond outside their windows. When Eileen said “Bottom’s Up!”, it was not a drink she was having, instead, she was announcing what geese and ducks did when they fed. To Dr. Kathleen Harder-Brower and Ali, and staff. The family can’t thank you enough for the years of excellent loving care you provided for Eileen. To Marcus Daly Hospice: Thank you for rapidly putting into place Eileen’s needs, and helping her to be comfortable in the transition to end of life. Thanks to Daly Leach for their gentle and kind assistance. A ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held on April 13th, 2019 at 1p.m..  Additional photographs can be viewed in the Obituary section on the Daly Leach website.

Eileen was preceded in death by husband Earl, her parents Clarice and John Pierson, and her brother Bill Pierson. Eileen is survived by daughter Catherine Cain (Bill) of Glen, MT., daughter Carol Schwan (Tom), of Hamilton, son Lawrence Pollard (Linda), of Hamilton. Grandsons: Jonathan Huetter (Pamela) of Portland, OR.,Shawn Fagan Schwan of Bozeman, Dylan Pollard of Missoula, Shane Pollard of Hamilton, Sister-in-law Virginia Pierson of Paso Robles, California and cousin Ami Kirby of Topanga Canyon, California. Eileen is also survived by many wonderful nephews, nieces and cousins of the 3 generations.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here

All simply in the springing of the year.

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