Carole Polochanin, 78, of Bristol, passed away on Friday, April 30, at the Pines Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation after an extended illness. Through her final days, she carried remarkable strength, courage, dignity, and an unwavering sense of humor.
She was born in Bristol on Jan. 6, 1943, to her parents Willard Anderson and Anna (Papapietro) Anderson. She attended Bristol Public Schools and after graduating, worked for many years at Southern New England Telephone, where she met her husband, Walter. A consummate listener, she worked as a switchboard operator, a position that she served with distinction, and later was promoted to supervisor. After taking time off, she worked for nearly a decade as an early childhood paraprofessional in various elementary schools in Bristol. Affectionately called “Mrs. Carole,” she assisted students with special needs in speech and language and was admired by colleagues and families for her dedication, compassion, patience, and a natural ability to connect with children. Years later, former students and their families expressed their gratitude for the positive impact she had on them.
She was a passionate sports fan, and loved watching and listening to sports on television and radio, especially the Boston Red Sox and UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams. She was incredibly knowledgeable about the latest team news, and her observations were as sharp as any commentator’s. Besides her interest in sports, she had a penchant for shopping, and was an early adopter of QVC. When she called in an order, she was greeted warmly by her first name.
She was a kind, loyal friend, generous with her time, who offered sage advice. She was a committed caregiver for her own mother for many years. She was a devout Catholic, a woman of deep and enduring faith, and she listened religiously to Mass daily on the radio station WJMJ, one of a number of charities she supported. She was well loved and respected by the doctors, nurses, and aides who spent time in her home and as a resident of Amberwoods of Farmington and the Pines.
Besides her parents and a brother, Gary Anderson, she is predeceased by a daughter, Jody, whom she lost at birth. We are certain there has been a joyful reunion in Heaven. She is survived by her husband of 50 years, Walter, her son David and wife Claudine of Marlborough, and her grandchildren, Ethan and Alison, whom she loved watching grow up and never missed a birthday. She also leaves behind her sister, Barbara Anderson, of Anchorage, Alaska, whom she cared enormously for, and several nieces and nephews. Carole’s family would like to recognize her best friend, Sylvia Sterpka, for many years of unconditional love and support. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 5 from 10 to 11 a.m. with a funeral home service to follow at 11 in Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol, who has the honor of serving Carole’s family. Burial to follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Bristol. Mask and social distancing are required. Please visit Carole’s memorial website at www.FunkFuneralHome.com .