Adrienne Marie “Polly” (McPherson) Winslow died late Sunday afternoon, February 9, 2020 in Chesapeake, VA. She was born at home just north of Elizabeth City, NC on September 18, 1933 to Frank Himick and Nannie Elizabeth “Boobie” (Smithson) McPherson. She was orphaned in May 1934 when both of her young parents were killed in an automobile accident on route 17 in Virginia just south of the North Carolina state line. After a custody battle between her paternal grandparents, Ormand Ambler and Missouri (Russell) McPherson, and her maternal grandparents, Lawrence Kenyon and Sarah Pearl (Forbes) Smithson, she was adopted by the latter. Polly was raised at “Chicken Corner” outside Elizabeth City, NC and in the Campostella section of Norfolk, VA.
On a very hot June 23, 1951, she married her 21-year old Central High School sweetheart, Harry Edward Winslow, who had been in the US Navy for three years. When Harry was stationed on a series of aircraft carriers off the cost of Korea during the Korean War, Polly, who had hardly ever been out of northeastern NC or southeastern VA, arranged to share a ride with two ladies driving to California. This placed her closer to Harry’s ship’s official port. Polly remembered her stop in Salt Lake City where she swam and floated easily in the waters of the Great Salt Lake. She lived in Santa Rosa, CA and worked as a florist, as she had done previously in Elizabeth City, NC and Norfolk, VA. Polly became friends with her employer, who was also her landlord, who introduced Polly to nearby San Francisco, where everyone she met was charmed by her southern accent.
After the war, she and Harry set up housekeeping in the Norfolk, VA area where he was stationed, and they began a family. From 1955 to 1957 they were stationed in Bermuda with their first child, where they made many friends among the locals and Americans. They also became accustomed to using their motorcycles to commute and run errands. While there, Polly and Harry also lost their second child, Hallet Edward Winslow, after he was born with a heart defect. At that time, treatment for such a defect was not available in Bermuda, and they were devastated when the Navy refused to fly the infant’s body back to the US for burial. He remains buried in Hamilton, Bermuda.
After their tour of duty in Bermuda, they returned to the Norfolk area, had their third child, and bought a home in what would later become Chesapeake, VA. Harry completed the rest of his thirty-year Navy career in Norfolk. Polly worked full or part-time most of that time. She also spent many hours as a temporary single parent when Harry was flying, sometimes out of the country, such as the three months he spent in Guantanamo during the Cuban Missile Crisis and nine months on a “good will” tour of South America.
They were blessed to be able to spend many happy summer days with Harry’s parents, Hallet Jeptha and Eleanor Mae (Ralph) Winslow, at their Nags Head, NC cottage. Polly also enjoyed many hours visiting and playing cards with her aunts.
After 65 years of marriage, Polly was predeceased in 2016 by Harry. She is survived by children, Nancy Elizabeth “Beth” Hibben (Larry) of greater Tampa, FL and Craig Himick Winslow (Diane Blumenthal) of Bethesda, MD, as well as three grandchildren, Jeffery Edward Latham, Hallet Blumenthal Winslow, and Hannah Blumenthal Winslow.
A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, niece and friend, Polly will be greatly missed. The family will receive relatives and guests at Twiford Funeral Home, 405 E. Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, February 14, followed by a service at the funeral home beginning at 11:00 a.m. She will be laid to rest beside Harry in Old Hollywood Cemetery in Elizabeth City. Committal will be private. Flowers are welcome.
Online memorial condolences may be sent to the family at www.TwifordFH.com.
Twiford Funeral Home (Elizabeth City)
405 East Church Street,