Harley John “Jack” Pollei

The faith-filled, generous, and adventurous life of Harley John “Jack” Pollei, 89, of Fond du Lac came to a peaceful end with his death Saturday, June 24, 2023 at home with his wife Barbara at his side. During his long and varied life, Jack was a devoted son, a cherished brother, an innovative businessman and community leader, a loyal friend, a world traveler, and most importantly an outstanding husband and father.

Born on January 28, 1934, in the small farming town of Dunnell, Minnesota, Jack was the oldest of three children. His mother Myrtle was a registered nurse, and his father Harley operated small creameries where he was a champion butter maker. Growing up in Dunnell and then in Fairmont, Minnesota, Jack developed a love of the outdoors, becoming an avid hunter and fisherman. As a Boy Scout, he earned the rank of Eagle Scout and the Pro Deo Et Patria award for service to his community and church.

Following his dad into the dairy industry, Jack majored in Dairy Science at Iowa State University where he met the love of his life, Barbara Sells. Following her graduation, they married on July 31, 1955. After Jack’s graduation a year later, he started his career with Borden, Inc. Jack and Barbara moved nine times between 1956 and 1963 as Borden moved him from technical positions to finance to sales. They ended up in Fond du Lac at Borden subsidiary Galloway-West, where Jack worked for the next 30 years. Despite offers by Borden to move and continue to climb the corporate ladder, Jack and Barbara decided to stay in Fond du Lac where they raised their kids and made wonderful friends.

Jack loved life and nothing gave him greater pleasure than being with family and friends. In each community where he and Barbara lived, he was an active member and participant in the church. He enjoyed playing golf, tennis, skiing, annual Canadian fishing trips, pheasant and deer hunting in Wisconsin, and following the Packers. HF&D Club was a particular love. Jack was a Rotarian (he served as President of the Fond du Lac club), a Mason, and a member of the Elks.

Jack retired as President and CEO of Galloway-West in 1993. During his career he held leadership positions with many industry associations. In retirement, Jack devoted his time to community, family, and friends. He and Barbara enjoyed many years traveling around the world and visiting family around the country. He served in leadership positions as chair of the St. Agnes Hospital Board of Directors, the Lutheran Home, the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, and the Fond du Lac Association of Commerce.

Jack was remarkably welcoming, personable, warm and friendly. He loved being out in the community, whether going to the bank or grocery store always interacting with others passing by. He had an uncanny ability to notice things, see behaviors, and appreciate the good in others.

Jack is survived by his wife of 68 years, Barbara; his sons, Steven (Solveig) Pollei of White Salmon, Washington, Scott (Ann) Pollei of Naples, Florida and daughter, Sheila (Mark) Flucke of Fond du Lac; grandchildren, Marit (Matt) Kinney, Daniel (Christin) Flucke, Lynn (Todd) Kleman Joe Pollei, Sara (Pat) Oleksak, Tom Pollei, and Mitch Pollei; great-grandchildren, Micah Flucke, Jonah Flucke, Abigail Kleman and Bethany Kleman; sisters, Karen Bolleson and Carmen (Rich) Greenlee; and 11 nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harley and Myrtle Pollei; in-laws, Jacob and Mabel Sells; brothers-in-law, Virgil Bolleson and Jacob Sells; and sister-in-law, Gwen Sells.

Visitation will be at Uecker-Witt Funeral Home, 524 North Park Avenue, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin from 5:00 – 7:00 PM on Friday, July 7, 2023. Additional visitation will be at 10:00 AM on Saturday, July 8, 2023 at Ascension

Lutheran Church, 901 County Road V, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, followed by a funeral service at 11:00 AM. A lunch reception at the church will follow.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to Ascension Lutheran Church, Compassion International, the Fond du Lac Area Foundation or the charity of the donor’s choice.