ALBANY Dorothea Polly Noonan, 88, died Friday, November 14, 2003. Polly was born and raised in Albany, the daughter of Dorilla Rosalie Giguere and John S. McLean. She attended Cathedral Academy, Albany High School, Class of 1934, and Russell Sage College Evening Division. After high school, she worked at Montgomery Ward & Co. where she met her husband, Peter E. Noonan. She is survived by her four children, Peter E. Noonan Jr. (Mary Anne), Polly N. Rutnik, Brian McLean Noonan (Bonnie) and Pamela N. Montimurro, all of Albany, as well as 11 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister, Elizabeth M. Meagher and predeceased by her brother, John S. McLean II. She was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother who delighted in her family life. She was active in P.T.A., Girl and Boy Scouts, Little League and all after-school activities. In 1935, she obtained a secretarial job with the N.Y.S. Senate Hudson Valley Survey Commission through her ward leader, beginning a lifetime of Democratic Party affiliation. She served as secretary to Senators Julian Erway, Peter D'Allesandro and Joseph Zaretski, retiring from the Senate in 1973, after 37 years. She served as a member of the National Democratic Committee and vice-chair of the N.Y.S. Democratic Committee. Polly also founded the Democratic Women of the Legislature and succeeded Mary Marcy as president of the Albany County Democratic Women's Club. Every year at the Democratic picnic at the Altamont Fairgrounds, she could be found manning the fried dough booth. Her home was always filled with women stuffing envelopes and making phone calls on behalf of candidates. Throughout her long life, Polly was an energetic public service volunteer. During World War II, she was a Grey Lady volunteer driver with the Motor Ambulance Corps and a water safety instructor for the Red Cross. She continued teaching water safely through the 1950s and organized a popular synchronized swimming club. Her volunteer activities included the Albany and Delmar Kiwanis clubs, Albany County Head Start, Rev. Peter Young Substance Abuse Program, the Honor Court Program and Alcohol Crisis Center. Many cold winter evenings found her serving hot meals to the homeless from a mobile kitchen truck with the Salvation Army. Proud of her French Canadian and Scottish Heritage, Polly was active in several area Scottish and Hibernian societies. Her home was always open to visiting lecturers and performers from overseas. Polly served on several education and charity boards including the N.Y.S. Institute for Performing Arts (The Egg), N.Y.S. Department of Education Professional Licensing Board, Camp Opportunities, Crohn's Colitis Foundation of America, Albany Children's Theatre and the Altamont Program. For 30 years, Polly was an active member of the Albany Lodge #49 B.P.O. Elks Ladies Auxiliary. When women were finally allowed to become members, she was among the first to join and, at age 82, she was elected an officer of the lodge. A strong force in her later years was a devotion to Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton. There will be no calling hours. The funeral will be private at the convenience of the family. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. Those wishing to remember Polly may make a contribution to the Rev. Peter Young Foundation, 575 Broadway, Menands, NY 12204, the Crohn's Colitis Foundation, 11 Normanskill Blvd., Delmar NY 12054 or Camp Opportunities, Lawson Lake Rd., Feura Bush, NY 12067.
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Published in Albany Times Union from Nov. 15 to Nov. 17, 2003.