Obituary: Pauline Rae (Polly) Leffingwell

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Posted at 11:03 AM, Sep 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-23 13:03:35-04

Pauline Rae (Polly) Leffingwell was born June 3, 1941, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Thomas Alfred Watterson, II and Pauline Rachael (Luther) Watterson. Polly was the first of three children—Thomas Watterson, III and Susan Watterson.

Polly fell in love with the West when she was young and had a complete set of Zane Grey books that she treasured. She read every book about the American West she could get her hands on. In 1962 she traveled with her best friend, Nancy Harley, to the G-M Guest and Working Stock Ranch. There she met George Leffingwell, Jr, the oldest son of George and Mary Leffingwell. George Jr and Polly corresponded over the year and she returned to the ranch the next year as one of the hired girls. George and Polly were married on October 7, 1964. They had two sons, Michael Robert and Stephen Mark Leffingwell.

In the Spring of 1984, Polly moved to Bozeman. She worked at many different places in Bozeman but for the longest time she worked for Montana State University (MSU) in the Student Union Building in Food Preparation. After retiring from MSU, Polly worked at the Kountry Korner Cafe at Four Corners. She did baking for them and even was mentioned in an issue of the Sunday Edition of the "Bozeman Daily Chronicle" for her pie baking.

Polly's volunteer work and church membership were important to her. When she first moved to Bozeman she helped with leading a Boy Scout troop. She was a long-standing member of Pilgrim Congregational, UCC and was also active at the United Methodist Church. She frequently attended both church's services on Sunday mornings. She helped with projects at both churches. At the time of her passing, Polly was doing a card ministry for Pilgrim. She sent cards to people in the hospital or who were grieving the loss of a loved one. She also sent birthday and anniversary cards to members and friends of Pilgrim. She was active in helping with the "Family Promise" Program with the homeless.

Prior to her death, Polly made arrangements with the University to donate her body to science. She hoped it would help the University and Medical profession learn more about Crohn's Disease. Polly loved to sew and quilt. She had her sewing machine up all the time. She loved to travel and made life-long friends when she traveled to England, Scotland, and Australia.

Polly Leffingwell passed away with friends and family by her side on September 4, 2021. Polly and her family were helped through this final passage of her life by Bill and Sue Craver. Bill was like a third son and was by Polly's side when she passed away. The Bozeman Hospice Program connected with the Bozeman Hospital was a gentle guide for Polly's end-of-life process.

Polly was preceded in death by her parents and her step-mother, Vivian Watterson. She is further preceded in death by one niece.

Polly is survived by her sons and families, Mike Leffingwell (Maria) of Clyde Park, MT and Steve Leffingwell (Tracy) of Wilsall, MT. Polly is further survived by 2 granddaughters, Stephanie (Tyler) Venske and Mary (Dustin) Leffingwell. Polly is also survived by 2 great-granddaughters and one great-grandson. Polly is further survived by numerous nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews. Polly has requested that there be no services, but her family is planning a "Celebration of Her Life Wake" at a later time.

Memorials can be sent to Native American Studies, MSU and Veterans Home, Butte, MT.

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.