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John Darwin Polansky, age 73, of Seattle, Washington, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, August 17, 2018. During his fight against pulmonary fibrosis and throughout his life, he remained loving, curious, and optimistic, always searching for a solution to each new challenge.
John was born in Hollywood, California on July 7, 1945 to Theodore and Frances Polansky. The family, including younger brother, William, lived in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles. John earned a B.A. in Psychology at UCLA in 1967 and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area where he met his future wife, Ann. Later, he and William operated a student travel agency in Los Angeles, through which he and Ann traveled in Europe.
John and Ann married in 1975 in San Francisco, where John's new job at Pacific Telephone & Telegraph started a 28-year career in telecommunications. John received a transfer within the Bell System to the Olympic Peninsula in Ann's home state of Washington. There they started a family, welcoming a son and daughter in Sequim before relocating to West Seattle in 1981. John worked in engineering positions for the phone company until his retirement from Qwest in 2002.
In Seattle, John was active at Alki Congregational UCC, always ready with his guitar as youth musical director, and at Welcome Table Christian Church. Gardening, music, fitness, and travel were his favorite pastimes. He was wholly devoted to a spin cycling course at the Fauntleroy YMCA, where for many years he inspired and motivated his classmates. After years of family camping trips around the western United States, John and Ann resumed their European travel in retirement. John delighted in studying the language of each new country, always eager to set a goal and reach it. Above these roles and interests, supporting the pursuits and achievements of his wife and children was his greatest pleasure.
John expressed deep gratitude for the time he was given on Earth, and for the love of his friends and family. His unflinching determination, sense of humor, and generosity endured until the end. John will be missed dearly by his surviving wife, Ann; brother, William; children Joshua and Sara; daughter-in-law Claire and son-in-law William; and grandchildren Vera, John, and George.
A celebration of life in Seattle is being planned; details will be published in John's obituary