February 27, 1930 — September 8, 2017
Shirley (Wilson) Pollak, 87, passed away September 8, 2017, in Albany.
Shirley Mae was born February 27, 1930, to Russell and Jessie (Wakefield) Parker in North Albany. Throughout her life, she loved to tell stories about the freedom and fun of her childhood — the morning berry-picking and afternoon swimming in the river, the family fishing trips, and the many games and escapades with her four older siblings and the neighbor kids, despite all the hardships of the Depression.
After graduating from Albany Union High School in 1948, Shirley worked for several years as a secretary.
She married Portland civil engineer and attorney Wilbur Kenneth “Bill” Wilson in 1955. After his early death in 1968, she moved back to her hometown, where she had extended family to help her raise her five young children.
She worked for many years at the Parker–Oak Grove water office in North Albany.
In the 1980s, she and her sister Jean Anderson ran “Grandma’s Christmas Store” and then the Two Sisters gift shop in downtown Albany.
Later, with her partner Harry Kelsey, she owned Rainbow's End Bookstore and was also a postcard dealer. Harry died in 1994, and Shirley retired the following year.
She married Henry C. Pollak on October 19, 1996, and they enjoyed many lively and happy years traveling to jazz festivals and family events, postcarding, and hosting children and grandchildren at their home in North Albany — at the opposite end of Jones Avenue from where she was born!
Shirley loved collecting — from stamps to postcards to angel figurines — and going to flea markets and antique shops.
She famously adored cats, played Bingo, enjoyed traveling, and hardly ever missed the annual Parker family reunion.
A very social person, she had a large circle of friends in the area. She was also involved in the Albany First United Methodist Church.
She is survived by her husband, Henry; children, Daniel L. Wilson-Fey (Kathy) of Tualatin, Nancy J. Trotic (Drago) of Portland, Scott R. Wilson (Holly) of Redmond, Oregon, Gregory K. Wilson (Rebecca) of Aumsville, and Janna S. Wilson (Annette) of Seattle; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
The family is grateful for the kind care of Shirley by the staff of Lydia’s House and Samaritan Evergreen Hospice.
A service will be held Saturday, September 16, at 11 a.m. at the Albany First United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Albany Regional Museum or to any charity where you feel your donation will make a positive difference.