Joan (Burns) Polyak

October 26, 1925 - July 12, 2021

Visitation: Service and Interment private.

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our Matriarch.

Joan was a Wife, Mum, Sister, Aunt, Cousin, Friend, Neighbor, and Confidante. She was a truly kind person and was always interested in other peoples back stories. Joan was a conversationalist & a great mixer at a party.

Joan was born in Perth, Western Australia to John and Irene (Green) Burns.
Sister of Norma Grindrod of New South Wales and the late Robert Burns and Ruth Woods of Australia.

Joan was a war bride to the late William L Pollak (d.3/29/2009). Bill was in the Navy and the love of her life. They met by chance in her hometown of Perth in 1942. In 1943 Bill asked her to marry him, by mail, and Joan accepted. A ring came in the mail a few months later.

In August 1946, Joan left Perth on a ship bound for San Francisco, California. Then she travelled by train to Chicago, Illinois where Bill was attending school under the GI bill. They were married in November.

In 1948 Bill & Joan had a son, the late Michael J. Polyak (d.10/19/2015). When Michael was two years old, knowing family was so important, they moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to be with Bill’s family and relatives.

While living on Eckert Street, Joan accepted a position at Mobil Chemical, later becoming Valspar. Bill, Joan, and Michael moved and made their home in Ross Township. Bill and Joan both eventually retired. Joan still lived in this home up until a few weeks before her passing.

Throughout the years, many good friendships and lasting relationships were made, too many to acknowledge. With her positive outlook and caring ways, it was hard not to love her!

In addition to her sister Norma, Joan is also survived by a sister-in-law, Anna Bane of Pittsburgh, and several nieces, and nephews in Australia and in the U.S.A.

At Joan’s request there was not any viewing, and the interment was to be private at Christ Our Redeemer Cemetery, 204 Cemetery Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.

If you feel the need to, but is not necessary, contributions may be made in Joan’s name to Animal Friends, 562 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15237.

Arrangements were made by Devlin Funeral Home, 806 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, PA 15229.

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  • Jim and Bobbi Friedrich

    Aunt Joan was one of the most positive special person we have ever known. Losing her was the same as losing our parents. Everytime we talked to her she always had interesting stories about her life. One of the things we will miss the most is her handwritten notes. She always took the time to talk to us and truly cared. We will love and miss her always.


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