William Glenn Polking

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William Glenn Polking

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Breda, Carroll County, Iowa, United States
Death: January 16, 2009 (72)
Carroll, Carroll County, Iowa, United States (Cancer)
Place of Burial: Carroll, Carroll County, Iowa, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Clement George Polking and Anna Bernadine Polking
Husband of Private User
Father of Private User; Christopher Clement Polking and Private User
Brother of Phyliss Mae Polking; James Anthony Polking; Clement Polking; Private User; Private User and 1 other

Occupation: Attorney
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About William Glenn Polking

Obituary, Carroll Herald 01-19-2009

William G. Polking

CARROLL

William G. Polking, 72, who served Carroll County more than 30 years as county attorney and magistrate, died Friday, Jan. 16, 2009, at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll.

Mass of the Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 20, at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Carroll with the Revs. Timothy Schott, Brian Hughes and Tim Friedrichsen concelebrating. Homilist will be Rev. Hughes. Lectors will be Barry and Mary Bruner. Gift bearers will be Jim and Marge Knott. Pianist will be Sue Feilmeier. Vocalist will be Jeana Schroeder.

Casket bearers will be Dave Polking, Paul Ruane, Bobby Molak, Gary Ludwig, Kevin Brinker, Dave Pottebaum and Mark Branigan. Honorary casket bearers will be members of the Carroll County Bar Association.

Burial will be in St. Bernard Cemetery at Breda.

Visitation will begin at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 19, at St. Lawrence Church in Carroll. A rosary will be prayed at 4 p.m. Monday. There will be a Christian wake service at 7 p.m. Monday by St. Lawrence Parish. Visitation will resume at 8 a.m. Tuesday at Sharp Funeral Home in Carroll.

The family suggests memorial contributions to St. Anthony Home Health Care and Hospice in lieu of flowers. Contributions can be left at the funeral home or church.

A son of Clem G. and Anna (Dopheide) Polking, he was born Feb. 6, 1936, at Carroll, grew up at Breda and graduated from St. Bernard High School there in 1954. Mr. Polking attended Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., receiving a bachelor of arts degree in 1959. He earned a law degree from Catholic University of America School of Law in 1962.

He practiced law in Washington, D.C., from 1962 to 1971 then returned to Carroll to establish a law practice. He was admitted to the Supreme Court of Iowa in 1962 and to the District Court of Iowa in 1964.

He and Peggy McCoy were married Nov. 25, 1967, at Annunciation Catholic Church in Havertown, Pa.

Mr. Polking served as county attorney from 1974 to 1981 then was magistrate until retiring in February 2008. He was also an associate juvenile judge, an examiner for the Iowa State bar Association, city attorney for Breda and business-law teacher at Des Moines Area Community College in Carroll.

Mr. Polking was president and member of the Kuemper High School Board, co-chaired a campaign that resulted in a bond issue for a new Carroll Middle School, was a member of the George Wernimont Foundation Board and was trustee for the Evelyn Holck Scholarship Fund.

He was named Carroll's citizen of the year in 1998.

He was a member, Eucharistic minister, lector and religious educator at St. Lawrence Parish and member of the Iowa and Carroll County bar associations.

Survivors include his wife, Peggy, of Carroll; three children: Ann Polking-Vincent and husband Michael of Carroll, William Polking Jr. of Carroll and Christopher Polking and wife Thetia of Carroll; seven grandchildren: Colby Vincent, McKenna Vincent, Cooper Vincent, Sophia Polking, Jameson Polking, Quinten Polking and Kieran Polking; four brothers: James Polking of Des Moines, John Polking of Houston, Texas, Paul Polking and wife Joan of Charlotte, N.C., and Joseph Polking and wife Lynn of Mount Pleasant, S.C.; and a brother-in-law, Tom McCoy, of Denver, Colo.

Mr. Polking was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Phyllis Mae Polking; and an infant brother, Clement Polking.

_____________________________

News Article, Carroll Herald, 01-19-2009

Polking remembered for legal and community contributions

By BUTCH HEMAN and LARRY DEVINE, Staff Writers

Colleagues and friends are remembering Bill Polking for his incalculable contributions to the Carroll community, his decades as a magistrate and county attorney, and for his brilliant legal mind.

Polking, 72, died Friday at St. Anthony Regional Hospital in Carroll.

Mass of the Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Carroll. Visitation started this afternoon at the church, and a prayer service will be held there at 7 tonight.

A native of Breda, Polking graduated from St. Bernard High School there, then completed under-graduate work and law school at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. His bachelor's degree was in philosophy, and he spent a year of grad school studying philosophy before deciding to go to law school.

"I thought, 'What am I going to do, rent a store downtown and put up a sign that says 'philosopher?' I've got to get serious at some point,'" he chuckled in a 2008 interview.

"I believe very strongly in serving people, and I thought I could do it in the profession of law. I enjoy meeting people, I enjoy working with people, I enjoy helping people."

He spent nine years doing legislative work at a small D.C. firm, then moved his family to Carroll in 1971 and opened his own practice.

"I wanted to come home also because Carroll is a community," he said. "I wanted to get involved with my neighbors, the church, other people and projects."

He served as Carroll County attorney for seven years and taught business and criminal law at Des Moines Area Community College in Carroll until becoming magistrate on July 1, 1983.

He had the distinction of being involved with the only two murder cases Carroll County has seen in more than 30 years. As county attorney in 1978, Polking prosecuted a sheriff's deputy for killing a waitress at a Carroll restaurant, and as magistrate in December 2007 he presided over the initial court appearance for a Carroll man who killed his fiancee's 18-month-old son.

Polking was proud that youngest son Chris followed in his footsteps in law and joined his practice at the Carroll Legal Building, and even more proud to pass down his magistrate gavel. When turning 72 forced Polking to retire early last year, the Judicial Appointing Commission chose Chris to succeed him on the bench.

"I would do it again," Polking told The Times Herald about his public service, "and I wouldn't quit if the law didn't say I had to."

"What I enjoyed the most was the involvement with people, meeting people, and the challenges on the law side of what are the issues, what is the verdict, what is the solution, who wins and who loses."

Despite maintaining a busy general law practice, serving the public and being a married father of three, Polking aided a myriad of community causes.

He and Jim Van Dyke headed the Kids First! campaign that resulted in successful bond elections to finance renovation of Carroll High School and build a new middle school. He previously served on a committee that studied space needs in the Carroll Community School District, an effort that led to construction of the new CHS in the late 1980s.

Polking also gave his time and talents to the parochial school system. He was president of the Kuemper High board for six years, board member for another six and chaired a committee that studied the Kuemper system's preparedness for the 21st century.

And Polking aided many other community projects. He co-chaired a committee that raised money to restore Carroll's historic railroad depot, served on committees that studied land use around Swan Lake State Park and alternative forms of local government and was a member of the St. Anthony Regional Hospital board of directors.

Professionally, Polking hung a second shingle in his hometown of Breda, served as city attorney there, was president of the local bar association and volunteered to grade bar examinations for the Iowa Supreme Court.

He was a Communion minister, lector, director and religion instructor at St. Lawrence Parish and took Communion to shut-ins on Sundays.

Polking was honored as Carroll's citizen of the year in 1998 and was inducted into the Iowa Volunteers Hall of Fame.

"I think we're all called upon to give and share our time and talents to others," Polking said in a 1998 interview. "This sounds corny, but it's true - I like to volunteer for projects and help others because it gives me satisfaction."

Polking quoted an inscription he'd received on a gift, one that said a hundred years from now no one will care what kind of house you lived in, what kind of car you drove or how much money you had in the bank.

"The world, however, may be a different place because you involved yourself in the lives of others," Polking added.

_________________________________________________

Comments in the Carroll Herald

SECOND FATHER AND MENTOR

Barry Bruner, who was assistant county attorney under Polking, succeeded him in that office and practiced with him at the Carroll Legal Building for many years, said Polking became his second father and mentor.

"I couldn't have two better ones," Bruner said of his father, Bob, and Polking.

"Bill gave me opportunities a lot of assistant county attorneys didn't get. He allowed me to try cases and make my own mistakes. We'd get together and talk every morning. He always had time for me, the same way dad did. He really became a second father to me, a legal mentor."

Polking was so sharp and focused that he'd get more done in an hour than some attorneys accomplish in a day, Bruner said.

"Bill had a very good handle on the English language and the basics of law," he explained. "He could sit down and dictate something so quickly. I was always amazed at that when I was his assistant. I'd have to sit and write and write and write, but Bill could just pick up that Dictaphone and bang it out, and it was three times as good as anything I could do."

Bruner prosecuted hundreds of criminal defendants that were brought before Polking's bench.

"I didn't agree with Bill's rulings sometimes, obviously," said Bruner. "But he was always fair. He always listened to both sides. I've seen counties in which the defense doesn't get much of a hearing. But even as county attorney, Bill always took it seriously that justice was the most important thing. He took some flak when he made decisions as magistrate that were right but not popular. It would've been easy for him to not make those tough decisions. And, truthfully, most of the time I really thought his decisions were right but I just didn't want to tell the police officers at the time."

Bruner said he already misses Polking.

"Just like with my dad," who died in September 2006, "I walk past that office every morning and expect to see Bill there," said Bruner. "They were two great guys and a big part of who I am as an attorney and a man."

Van Dyke said Polking was a proud supporter of the Carroll public and parochial school systems "because he had a great sense of that moving the community forward what was the right thing to do."

As for Polking's public service and legal work, Van Dyke described him as "a very compassionate man who had an overriding sense of justice."

"Bill was a fairly liberal magistrate. He always made sure the rights of the individual (defendant) were protected," said Van Dyke. "Sometimes that frustrated law enforcement, but the benefit of the doubt goes to the defendant, and Bill always made sure those rights were protected.

"And one thing most people don't know about Bill is he spent many years, at least 25, grading bar exams, and he gave a lot of time to the mock trial program in the schools."

"Bill was just that kind of guy. Wherever there was a cause, Bill was there to give his time, energy and money."

Ron Schechtman, a senior district judge who also sits on the judicial appointing board, said Polking "always performed in a professional and ethical manner and did a good job representing his clients. He was a good lawyer."

"Bill made his mark on the legal profession in Carroll County, and he left some pretty big shoes to fill."

Jim Knott, a neighbor of Polking and a former CHS teacher and dean of Des Moines Area Community College, said, "He was a very bright man, considerate, always doing for others whatever possible, and he was a good listener. He didn't try to bully people. He was a good thinker. And he was a damned good neighbor."

Knott said he'll also remember Polking for being a fine teacher of business law.

"I never had a complaint from anybody, and that's pretty good because usually (the students) have something," said Knott. "He was very fair and they understood that he cared about them. He was very good at it because of his experience. Students paid very close attention, and he used his experience to make it a very good class."

"I'll miss him and the community will miss the things he did," Knott added. "He did them very quietly but they were very important."

__________________________________________

"Wherever there was a cause, Bill was there to give his time, energy and money."

-- Jim Van Dyke

"I didn't agree with Bill's rulings sometimes, obviously. But he was always fair. He always listened to both sides. ... Bill always took it seriously that justice was the most important thing. He took some flak when he made decisions as magistrate that were right but not popular. It would've been easy for him to not make those tough decisions. And, truthfully, most of the time I really thought his decisions were right but I just didn't want to tell the police officers at the time."

-- Barry Bruner

"He always performed in a professional and ethical manner and did a good job representing his clients. He was a good lawyer. Bill made his mark on the legal profession in Carroll County, and he left some pretty big shoes to fill."

-- Ron Schechtman

I'll miss him and the community will miss the things he did. He did them very quietly but they were very important."

-- Jim Knott

 

Bill retired as Magistrate on his birthday last week. He was succeeded by Chris Polking - who was chosen by the magistrate nominating committee. Retirement is mandatory at age 72. An article and photos regarding Bill and Chris appeared in the Carroll Daily Times Herald on Feb 8th.

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William Glenn Polking's Timeline

1936
February 6, 1936
Breda, Carroll County, Iowa, United States
2009
January 16, 2009
Age 72
Carroll, Carroll County, Iowa, United States
January 20, 2009
Age 72
Carroll, Carroll County, Iowa, United States