Major Polly H. (Combs) McCulley (R)

“But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel:  “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.  For I am the Lord your God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;” – Isaiah 43:1-3a NKJV

Polly was called home in the early morning hours of March 23, 2021, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and dementia.  She had recently celebrated her 91st birthday.  Through her struggle with this deplorable disease, one constant remained the same: her absolute love for Jesus.  

Polly entered Training College right after she graduated high school.  She was commissioned a Probationary Lieutenant from the Peacemakers Session on May 28, 1949, in the Southern Territory. 

Lt. Polly Combs was in charge of the girls’ club in Atlanta, GA when she met a young man working at the Bellwood Boy’s Club by the name of Rex.  She fell deeply in love with him, and they were married on February 21, 1953.  Together, they joined forces to win the world for Jesus. 

Their first daughter, Patricia was born in Dalton, GA in 1954.  Not long afterward Rex was drafted into the United States Army.  Eventually, he would be stationed at Fort Carson, CO and Polly and Patty followed.  After his tour, Rex entered The Salvation Army’s Training College in San Francisco, CA.  Upon his commissioning in 1957, Polly was re-commissioned as Lieutenant and their first appointment was to Laramie, WY as the Corps Officers.  Their second daughter, Susan was born in Laramie in 1958.  Rex and Polly continued to serve faithfully with their family in Sheridan, WY, Butte, MT, Ketchikan, AK (third daughter, Cathie born in 1968), Roswell, NM, Mesa, AZ, Las Vegas, NV, Fresno, CA, Colorado Springs, CO, Billings, MT, El Paso, TX and finally in Santa Cruz, CA.  Polly retired from officership on July 21, 1998, with 44 years, 10 months and 18 days of active service.  She went on to serve and spread the love of Jesus in “post retirement service” at the San Bernardino ARC from 1998 to 2013. 

Major Polly McCulley is preceded in death by her husband, Major Rex McCulley and her daughter, Susan McCulley.  She is survived by her daughters, Patty Keeley of Ketchikan, AK and Cathie McCulley of Riverside, CA as well as her grandsons Chris Rhodes of Ketchikan, AK and Jordan McCulley of Anchorage, AK and her granddaughter, Karli Tipps of Bishop, CA.  She also leaves behind her sister, Nancy Register of Pensacola, FL, two sisters-in-law, Jerrylene Bolding of Dalton, GA and Marie Crump of Fort Worth, TX, and many nieces and nephews. 

Although the family is saddened and grieving the loss of such a faithful woman of God, we rest in the fact that she is reunited with her loving husband and daughter. She led a blessed life and we cherish the fact that we were a part of that life.  

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at The Salvation Army Riverside Corps, 3695 1st Street.  Lt. Colonel Joe Posillico (R) will officiate.  Cards and messages of condolences may be sent to  Cathie McCulley at 5390 Greenbrier Dr., Riverside, CA  92504.

“My mom, my role model, my friend … Loved with a love that will not end!  She gives unselfishly to all, whether it be family or friend who calls.  A true Christian woman whose faith is sure; whose walk with Jesus rings clear and pure.  A true “Southern” lady with a heart of gold, whose belief in family is strong and bold.  Mom shares her love from deep within, and gives it over and over and over again.  She shares her laughter with twinkling eyes, and holds one close when one cries.  My mom is a treasure, I will love her forever!” Susan McCulley, Christmas 2007