Obituary for Dermont E. Poley
Dermont E. Poley "Dutch" passed away peacefully on August 11, 2021 surrounded by his children. His wife, Barbara Berry-Poley (Bobbi) passed away three months earlier while they were still residing in Tavares, Florida. Following her death, he moved to Michigan to be closer to his family.
Dutch was born in Adrian, Michigan on April 10th, 1928 to Dermont and Esther Poley. He was preceded in death by his two sisters, Louise Caulkins and Joyce Akens.
He grew up in Tecumseh, MI where he was active in athletics, especially football where he was the team kicker. He graduated from Tecumseh H.S. in 1946 and then went into the Army for two years where he served as a surveyor in Japan and also played football at Fort Leonard Wood.
Upon retiring from the service, he attended Eastern Michigan University and received a BA of Science in l951 and later, a Masters degree in Administration in 1953. Following graduation he was employed by the Tecumseh Public Schools for 31 years where he began as a high school teacher, then junior high mathematics and frequently referred to his students as “you hamburger”, they still affectionately called him that when they would see him in later years. He finished his career as the high school principal where he was able to present his daughter with her diploma..
During his time at Tecumseh Public Schools he coached for 27 years, football, baseball, basketball and track and also umpired. He mentored many students, loved his time as a coach and could still quote game scores many years later.
He married Barbara L. Poley in 1956 and had two children, Pamela R. Poley (Tom) and Brian E, Poley. He had devoted grandchildren, Zachary Owen and his wife Katie. He married Barbara (Bobbi) Berry in 1995 and enjoyed being a father to Steve (Nancy) Berry, Cyndy (Ron) Smith, Sharon (Rocky) Harshman, Susie (Bob) Behrman and all of their beautiful grandchildren. He and Bobbi resided in both Tavares, FL and his beloved home that he built in the Hiawatha National Forest in Upper Michigan. In Tavares, he was an active member in the park with many friends and playing in the band, the Imperial West Troopers. He was well known for his banjo playing, singing and Louis Armstrong impersonations.
He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church, the Elks, Moose, VFW, Am Vets and was active in the American Legion.
He had a love of nature and was also an avid hunter and fisherman, skills he passed on to his son and grandson. He and Bobbi often spent time in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with friends and family where he was always successful at deep sea fishing. His final trip there was with his son and grandson and they lifted his wheelchair onto the boat so he could fish there one last time. He was happiest on the water and making music.
He was a strong, good and loving man and he will be dearly missed by his family and dear friends.
While at avinkcremation.com please take time to sign Dermont’s guestbook, and/or share a memory with the family. Donations in his name can be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan Hospice.
The Poley family is being cared for by the Avink Funeral Home & Cremation Society, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI 49002 (269) 344-5600.