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Gilbert's Story

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Polston Sr., Gilbert Lee, 80, a retired teacher and principal with JCPS, died peacefully May 22, 2017 following a brief illness.
A native of Jabez KY, Gil was the first of his eight siblings to go to college. He completed his teaching degree at Eastern Kentucky University, where he met his bride of 54 years, Phyllis Polston, who went on to teach at Valley Elementary and Watson Lane Elementary.
Gil started his career in 1956 at a one-room school house in Sandy Hollow KY, where he started a fire every morning to warm the room and rang a hand bell to call students to school. After coming to Louisville in 1962, he worked as a 6th grade teacher at the old Alice Waller Elementary on Dixie Highway. He first became a
principal at Williams Middle School in 1974, leaving there to become the first principal at Stuart Middle School in 1981. During his tenure there, Stuart was the largest middle school in Kentucky with more than 2000 students.
When he retired in 1992, he joined the staff at the University of Louisville as a mentor in their teacher intern program, helping new graduates adjust to life in the classroom. As much as he enjoyed that job, when he became a grandfather to Zachary Polston in 2001, and Jackson Polston in 2003, that role became his passion.
Gil was never happier than the time spent with his grandkids, watching his beloved UK Wildcat basketball team, or meticulously taking care of his yard, which often resembled the green of a golf course. He last mowed his lawn within a month of his passing.
He is survived by his wife Phyllis Polston, his son Chip Polston, and his best buddies (and grandchildren) Zachary and Jackson Polston. He is also survived by his brother, Royce Polston (Ruth) of Austin, TX.; and his sisters Pearl Dunbar and Yvonne Johnson of Somerset KY. Gil was preceded in death by his brothers, Finis and
Leon; and sisters,; Vontrice, Joyce and Maxine. He is also survived by several very special nieces and nephews, and multiple double first cousins. Gil was a member of Jabez Baptist Church and attended Southeast Christian.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Baptist Hospital East for their help in his final days. Gil was cared for there by many of his former students, a fact which brought him joy until the end. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hosparus, and WHAS Crusade for Children.
Funeral services will be Friday at 11:00 AM at Owen Funeral Home 5317 Dixie Hwy.
Burial is in Cave Hill Cemetery. Visitation is Thursday 4:00-8:00 PM.
Online condolences may be made to www.owenfuneralhome.com.
Published on May 24, 2017
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