James Joseph Polak
March 10, 1939 - January 10, 2021
James Joseph Polak, 81, was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who passed away surrounded by his family on Jan. 10, 2021, in Pomona, California.
There was a rosary held on Feb. 15, 2021, at 5 p.m. and a Mass of Christian burial held on Feb. 16, 2021, at noon at Historic Sacred Heart Chapel, 381 Center St, Covina, CA 91723. Internment followed at 2 p.m. at Forest Lawn Covina Hills, 21300 Via Verde Street, Covina 91724.
Jim was born to James and Beatrice Polak on March 10, 1939, in Wahoo, Nebraska. He was raised on the family farm in the Bruno area until he was 12-years-old and then they moved to David City, Nebraska. He graduated from St. Mary's Catholic school in 1957. He married the love of his life, Mary “Kathy” Murphy, on Oct. 11, 1957, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in David City. Three daughters and a son were born to this union: Debra, Denise, Kevin and Diane. They lived many places in the earlier years – Colorado; San Diego, California; and El Monte, California, before calling West Covina, California, their home. During those years Jim held many jobs working for Behlen Manufacturing in Columbus, Skyline Farms in Lincoln, American Machine and Foundry Company in Denver, Colorado. He was a proud veteran, serving for the United States Navy, based out of San Diego, California. He worked for Union Pacific Railroad for 40 years and retired in 2002. He owned Le Sun Club Tanning in Covina until the late 90s. In 1996, he and Kathy moved to Kathy's dream home in San Dimas, California.
Jim had a strong faith and never missed a Saturday evening service. He was a loyal husband, caring lovingly for his wife through challenging times and was a true inspiration of love and devotion. He loved to RV and travel around with Kathy and his Yorkie, Pepper. He also enjoyed Polka music and “treasure hunting” with good friends. To his friends and family, Jim will always be remembered for the kind and gentle manner with which he treated everyone. Jim was a genuine, practical and caring man. Even those whom he met on a few occasions, he would treat with respect as if he had known them a lifetime.
He is survived by his four children, Debra (Dennis) Edmon of Placerville, California, Denise Polak of San Dimas, California, Kevin Polak of Lone Tree, Colorado, and Diane (Tim) Gomez of Chino Hills, California; six grandchildren, Candace (Chad) Filla of Rancho Cucamonga, California, Lauren (Art) Trevino of Loomis, California, Taryn (Daniel) Landeros of Upland, California, Cody Polak of Lone Tree, Colorado, Garrett Gomez of Asheville, North Carolina, and Chelsea Polak of Lone Tree, Colorado; six great-grandchildren, Brielle, Savannah and Everly Filla and Freya, Tovee and Trygg Trevino; and brother and sisters-in-laws, Daniel Kouma of Seward, Nebraska, Harry Crook of Lincoln, Nebraska, Norman Pillar of Bellwood, Nebraska, Eva Murphy of Wichita, Kansas, and Barbara Reagin of Linden, Michigan.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Katherine "Kathy" (Murphy) Polak; father, James Polak; mother, Beatrice (Stuchlik) Polak; sisters, Lyla (Polak) Kouma and Janice (Polak) Crook; and brothers-in-law, Marvin Murphy, Michael Murphy and Jim Reagin.