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Frances Wallace

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Frances Wallace Obituary
Frances Polcyn Wallace

1917 - 2014 BENNINGTON Frances Polcyn Wallace died on Friday, Sept. 5, after a brief illness. She was 96 years old and in recent years had been a resident of Rivers Edge Community Care Home. Mrs. Wallace was born in Nov. 29, 1917, in Chicago, the daughter of the late Walter Polcyn and Helen (Hubrich) Polcyn, both of whom had immigrated from what is now Poland. At the time they immigrated, Poland was divided between Russia and Germany, with her father living in the Russian part of the country and speaking Russian as well as Polish and her mother living in the German part and speaking German as well as Polish. Walter Polcyn was a stone mason who eventually became a successful contractor by building many homes and Catholic churches in the Polish neighborhoods in Chicago. Helen Hubrich's first job in this country after arriving in 1913 was as a governess for the children of the president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, She later became the governess of the children of Walter Polcyn, whose first wife had died, and then married him. Mrs. Wallace, who had a brother and a sister as well as five step-siblings, grew up speaking Polish and German as well as English. One of her stepsisters disappeared while walking home from school as a child and was never found. Mrs. Wallace grew up in a large yellow brick house that her father had built in Chicago. She graduated from Lindbloom High School. For a few years during the Depression, she lived with her family on a farm near Gary, Ind., helping her mother and siblings care for cows, pigs, and a donkey, while her father commuted back and forth between there and his construction business in Chicago. Frances married Robert Knabb during World War II, when he was a crew member on an Army Air Corps bomber based in Europe. During the 1950's they lived for a time on Pleasant Street and on Gage Street in Bennington, to be near her beloved sister, Helen Polcyn Cleary. They later lived for several years on the east side of Silk Road, just south of the covered bridge, and eventually moved to Mich. where they ran a coffee shop called "The Buckboard." After her husband died, Frances Knabb returned to Bennington and married the widower, H. James Wallace, a well-known Bennington resident who had been the former CEO of the BenMont Paper Mill. He had served in the state legislature, and had been the chairman of the State Highway Board. Survivors include several nieces and nephews, including John Cleary of Williston, Robert Cleary of Calais, Jean Nonna of Pleasantville, N.Y., Helen Greene of Eagle Bridge, N.Y., and Jacqueline Marro and Grace Collins both of Bennington. FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services will be held on Monday morning, Sept. 8, at 11:00 a.m. at the MAHAR AND SON FUNERAL HOME, 628 Main St. Bennington with the Rev. James Holden officiating. Interment will follow in Park Lawn Cemetery in Bennington. Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday morning from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service. The family would like to thank the staff of Rivers Edge for the excellent care and compassion that Frances received. Guestbook condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net


Published in Bennington Banner on Sept. 8, 2014
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