Remembering Douglas Joseph Polk

Douglas “Doug” Joseph Polk

He was born in San Francisco on February 11, 1940 to Wesley & Mary Grace Polk. He died here in Portland, on February 24, 2016, at home, peacefully surrounded by his loving family. He graduated from Parkrose High School in 1957 and attended Stanford University. He served in the Army as a German translator. He spent several years running the Portway Tavern in North Portland with one of his childhood best friends. Doug also ran his own gardening and landscaping business for many years, as well as spent many daylight, twilight, and even nighttime hours working in his own garden, carefully planning and sculpting pathways and plantings. The garden at his house of over 40 years, was in constant flux, with regular new additions of trees, and plants and bulbs, and shrubs. He is survived by his significant other, Terry Daley, daughter and son-in-law, Dara & Kyle Abraham, his two grandchildren, his sister and brother-in-law, Madeline & Jim Rose (live in Pasadena, CA), and his nephews, Jimmy and Chuck Rose (and wife, Lacey), and niece, Betsy Wilson (and husband, John). Doug was a proud Linnton resident for over four decades and was very actively involved in his local community, either in an official capacity by serving on the board of the Linnton Neighborhood Association, or regularly attending neighborhood meetings or citywide meetings as a local resident and advocating for the best needs of the community. He played in, and then became the de facto leader, of a weekly, regularly running game of pick-up basketball, that occurred every ‪Tuesday evening for decades at the Linnton Commnunity Center (and advocated for and included me, his only child, to be the first female to start playing in that game); he played into his late 60s. He also worked on a project for years that involved hours of taped interviews with people involved with the Linnton Plywood Mill. He was an avid Go player (an ancient board game, originating in China). He was a voracious reader, collecting and reading books on every topic and constantly scouring newspapers for information, cutting clippings, and sharing relevant information with family & friends (his attention to detail, of remembering little facts about anyone he came across, was uncanny, and would make the effort to get those pertinent articles relating to those passions to those particular people). His love of sports was evident in his devotion to the Portland Trail Blazers (a season ticket holder since before their championship in 1976; even sticking by them through the “Jail Blazer” era), he had an incredible ability to listen to the radio for hours, cheering on the San Francisco Giants of the MLB, and in his cheering on of the San Francisco 49ers of the NFL. He was unique and lived life on his own terms; if there were several already well-travelled routes to get from point A to point B, he was determined to find a new one, it may have not been the most direct or the quickest, but it was his own. There were no strangers in his life, he chatted easily with anyone he came across, be it the person next to him at a Blazer game or sitting next to him on the bus, or the person serving him his coffee. And he strove to learn about people’s passions, not what they did for a living/to earn a wage, but what fulfilled them. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Human Solutions (503-548-0200 or

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