Kelly Polan
Kelly Polan Union resident who 'thrived on supporting friends & family' Kelly Polan, of Union, NJ, died surrounded by loved ones on July 14, 2021, and the world has lost a very special person. Kelly leaves behind her husband, Jim Oakley; two children, Travis Volpe and Carson Polan Volpe; and five siblings, Amy Polan Clarke, Karen Rosica, Michael Miller, Carol Staton, and Elinor Greenberg. She was predeceased by her parents Marge and Stan Polan and two sisters, Susan Schneider and Diane "Cookie" Polan. She is also survived by her grandson Julian; her nieces and nephews, Matt, Brad, Jordan, Allie, Rosa, Maya, Denise, Mark, Bonnie; and her great-nephews, Cayden, Max, and Charley. Kelly was born in 1956 in Newark and grew up in Short Hills, NJ. She graduated from Millburn High, attended Bard College and graduated from University of Colorado. She subsequently attended The Restaurant School in Philadelphia, where she perfected her cooking skills, culminating in a lifetime of providing highly-anticipated holiday meals with her family. Two of her favorite things brought together - family and food. Kelly was the baby of the family, but became the glue that kept everyone in touch, no matter how far away anyone was. She was our safe space. She was always there to listen to our complaints, our worries, and our stories, be they happy or sad. She thrived on supporting her friends and family, and she was indubitably the first person anyone would call when talk was needed. She loved being with people and maintained many lifelong friendships. Kelly did not just nurture all those lucky enough to know her. She also loved animals, was a docent at the Turtle Back Zoo for a time, and always had a dog or two in the family. She used this same caring touch to grow a garden that became more magnificent by the year. A Memorial service will be held in the fall, at which time Kelly's ashes will be spread in some of the places she held most dear, including her summer camp, Camp Navarac, and beneath the magnolia tree where her sisters, Susie and Cookie, also rest. Please send donations in lieu of flowers to the MS Society, the American Brain Tumor Association, or Save the Chimps.
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Published by The Star-Ledger from Jul. 17 to Jul. 18, 2021.
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12 Entries
I met and became good friends with Kelly when she moved to Colorado, when she was in her 20's. Its been a couple of years since I saw her and I value the time I got to spend with her. A beautiful person, a great friend. Sending love to her family.
Marilou "Lou" Hickey
Friend
July 24, 2021
I gained Kelly as a little sister when she was 6 and I was 12 and she was adorable and sweet. As we grew up, she became my best friend, and we talked about everything under the sun. We laughed and we cried. She was always there for us, and her is loss is life changing for so many of us. Kelly, I love you and hope you're watching over me.
Amy Polan Clarke
Family
July 23, 2021
Our deepest condolences to you and your family. Sending love and hugs, Cindy and Len Hause
Cindy and Len Hause
Friend
July 21, 2021
My family sends our sympathy to your family. We are sorry for your loss.
Thomas Drewke
July 20, 2021
Kelly was my mom's sister. I loved her. Even though we didn't see each other very often, when we did I always had a great time. My thoughts are with Oak and the whole family. Rest In Love Kelly.
Meridith Staton
Family
July 19, 2021
All my love and deepest condolences to the Polan family <3
Desiree
Other
July 19, 2021
So Sorry Oak and her family.She will be missed by many but not forgotten.Condolence to all.
Nancy Fullerton
Friend
July 19, 2021
Peggy (Moses) Bloom
Friend
July 18, 2021
Peggy (Moses) Bloom
Friend
July 18, 2021
In July 2018, 10 old friends gathered for a 50th Reunion of Camp Navarac, on Saranac Lake, NY. Kelly was beloved by all, we will miss her terribly. Our sincerest condolences to Kelly´s family.
Peggy (Moses) Bloom
Friend
July 18, 2021
We hung out at the UWS restaurant on Columbus Ave she managed, had the same rock & roll friends, had sons within three months of each other, loved anything she cooked (she was a master chef to me); kept in touch when I moved to FL. This picture is from two summers ago when Casey & I visited Kelly & Oak (her husband & soulmate) at their NJ house. Dammit, Kel, I´m going to miss your spirit & love of life. You were one of the coolest & nicest people I have ever known.
Lyn Henderson
Friend
July 18, 2021
My condolences to the Polan Family...sooo sorry to hear this news
jude lyons
Friend
July 18, 2021
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