Paulene J. Gulutzen
Paulene J. Gulutzen of Tustin, Michigan, formerly of Blyth, Ontario, passed away peacefully on March 26, 2021, at home, lovingly surrounded by her family. She was 75.
Paulene (Polly) was the loving mother of Darlene (Brad) Hymers, Clinton; Bill (Christine) Gulutzen, Blyth and Charles (Terri) Gulutzen, Walton. She was the cherished “mama” of Brittany, Courtney, Carson, Christopher, Mackenzie, Jacob and Erick.
Paulene was the eldest sibling of John Thamer (predeceased), Shirley Hertlein, Judy Emmrich and Ruthie (John) Uyl. She was predeceased by her parents Bill and Ruth (Campbell) Thamer and her first husband Alex Gulutzen (2003).
Paulene practised tap dancing, the Highland Fling, singing and piano lessons in her early years. Her love of dancing and singing to Elvis Presley songs on her karaoke machine and travelling to Maryhill to watch Elvis impersonators with great friends, was known to everyone who knew her.
Paulene took up the love of hairstyling in her adolescent years and attended the Marvel Beauty School in London at the age of 16. She set up a home salon in Walton for a few years before moving to “Brian’s of Seaforth”, “George of Brussels” and Huronview/Huronlea Homes for the Aged. She worked as a stylist for over 50 years.
Paulene married Alex Gulutzen on July 9, 1966 at Duff’s United Church, Walton.
She worked both part time and full time while raising three children. Meal preparation, housework, gardening, lawn work, canning homemade preserves, running kids to baseball and becoming a baseball coach all kept her busy.
After a couple of moves and settling in Westfield, Paulene became a partner in the family business, Grain Stoves Inc. She became busy with office work and business travel. Alex passed away in 2003 and she continued her involvement with Grain Stoves.
Polly enjoyed travelling, both for business and pleasure. She travelled to various U.S. states (including Alaska and Hawaii), the Canadian West Coast, Mexico, and various cruises with family and friends kept her soul full.
Paulene often talked about her grandchildren. She was proudly called “Mama”. She was proud of their commitments to their passions, commitment to education and mostly the impeccable work ethic each one of them upheld. Mama was proud of their skills in sports ranging from broomball, hockey, rugby, soccer and the sport of ploughing. Mama was extremely excited to find out she would be a great-grandma, with Courtney expecting in September and was equally excited for Brittany’s wedding in October.
Polly met Dave Tompkins in Arizona at Indian Skies Trailer Park in January of 2016. Their romance quickly escalated. She soon developed a love for biking, a love for a wonderful companionship and an even deeper love for Dave. She was like a teenager again. In May, 2016 Dave asked Polly to marry him and they were united in marriage on July 20, 2016.
Mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in October 2019. She underwent chemotherapy treatments and surgery in January, 2020. COVID-19 interrupted visits and her family was unable to see her for 14 months. On Feb. 25, 2021, we received our phone call of the sad prognosis.
We, as a family, were granted permission to cross the border to spend her final weeks with her.
Mom’s strength persevered as we all arrived. She was resilient. She never complained. She laughed and kept a positive attitude throughout. We all had a really nice couple of weeks of conversation and reminiscing. She was so extremely grateful that we were all there with her. We shared laughs, we shared tears, we held hands, we kissed, we hugged and we shared more tears, but most of all we were able to share our love with her right to her last breath. We would do it all over again.
She was a classy, sassy and a wee bit bad “assy”. She did everything “shits ’n giggles” Polly style. She lived a life well-lived.
She travelled, she fell in love, she chose a career that filled her soul,she found a best friend and held onto him, she had passion and lived it. She mastered the attitude of “Control what you can. Let go of what you can’t!”
Bravo Mom! We are so proud of you!
Donations in memory of Paulene (Polly) can be made to Huron Hospice, 37857 Huron Rd., Clinton, ON N0M 1L0 or Victim Services Huron County, 122 Duke St., Seaforth, ON N0K 1W0.