Juanita Colleen Miller Polatis, 87, passed away July 13, 2020, in Pocatello, Idaho. Colleen was born March 17, 1933, in Idaho Falls, Idaho to Roger DeWolf and Juanita Larsen Miller. Due to her mother's death shortly after Colleen's birth, she and her older brother, Darrell, were raised by their grandparents, George Roscoe and Katie Caroline Sanders Larsen of Rexburg, Idaho. Colleen attended Ricks College, where she met Joseph Tanner Polatis of Thomas, Idaho. Their marriage took place Sept. 9, 1953, in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Logan Utah Temple. While living in Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Connecticut and Utah, Colleen had the privilege of associating with those of different lifestyles, cultures, religions and nationalities. Colleen loved people and had a way of making everyone feel loved, always giving of herself. She easily made friends wherever she would go, leaving a positive impact. She was fun loving, kindhearted, thoughtful, gentle and compassionate. Colleen was active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all her life. Her first church calling was teaching Junior Sunday School as a teenager, followed by serving as a speech director in M.I.A. Throughout the years, she served in various organizations, which included serving in branch, ward and stake missions, as well as a full-time mission in Connecticut with her husband, Joe. They both loved attending the Temple wherever they traveled. Colleen was involved in research, writing and compiling histories for self, family, church and community, and organized the Family History Center in North Platte. She attended Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte and belonged to local and state genealogical societies. Colleen was a member of the Daughters of Utah Pioneers. Her family was her greatest joy. She was preceded in death by her husband, Joseph; grandchildren, Kyle Polatis, Keith Polatis, Benjamin Waters, and Erik Gray; brother, Darrell Miller; sister-in-law, Carol Miller; half-brother, Loren Miller, and her parents and grandparents. She is survived by her children, DeAnn (Mark) Ellingson, Randall (Joyce) Polatis, KayLynn (Robert) Campbell, Patreasa (Brian) Waters, Steven Polatis, Pamela (Kirk) Dooley and JoLene (Dennis) Gray; 34 grandchildren; 72 great-grandchildren; sister-in-law, CarolAnn Maloney-Miller; and half-brother, Roger Miller. The family thanks the residents and exceptional caregivers at Quinn Meadows of Pocatello for their attentive care and friendship of Colleen in her final months. Memorials are suggested to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Missionary Fund. Online condolences may be shared at hawkerfuneralhome.com. Family and friends will meet at 10 a.m. Monday, July 20, 2020, at the Hawker Funeral Home. Funeral services will follow at 11 a.m. Due to COVID precautions, there is limited seating for the memorial service. We ask that those seats are reserved for the family and close friends. Those who would like to participate in the service from home are invited to view the service on a live broadcast beginning at 10 a.m. at hawkerfuneralhome.com on the Video Broadcast tab. Interment will be at the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery.
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