Walt Pollman Jr. passed away early Tuesday, November 14, 2017 in Bellingham at the age of 84. Walt Jr. was born December 18, 1932 to Walter Pollman Sr. and Lucille Pollman in Spring Creek, Missouri. He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Donna; daughter, Lisa Pollman (Tom McCarthy); sister, Jean Van Etten; sister-in-law, Joyce Bigelow (Jerry Jarvis); as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
His family moved to Whatcom County when Walt was 12 years old. Soon after arriving, they purchased land for a strawberry farm. This early experience contributed to his strong, lifelong work ethic. In school, Walt excelled in sports as well as academics. He enjoyed playing football as quarterback, in addition to baseball and basketball. Walt graduated from Meridian High School in 1951 and married his sweetheart, Donna Woods Bland. The couple then moved to Seattle, where Walt attended the University of Washington and graduated with honors from the School of Pharmacy in 1954. It was during that time that he became an avid Husky fan!
After graduation, Walt and Donna returned to Whatcom County to pursue a dream of owning their own retail pharmacy. On September 9, 1959, the couple took ownership of Ferndale Drug, after submitting the winning bid in a sealed bid auction. Upon starting out, the store had three employees (including the couple) and was located on Main Street. In 1981, the business expanded and moved to 4th and Vista. Walt and Donna’s business partnership was a recipe for success. Walt regularly met with a small group of independent pharmacy owners in Seattle to keep ahead of the latest trends in the industry and was known for his professionalism and his particular dedication to his customers. The Ferndale Drug “gang” became part of the family, taking pride in providing quality service to the community. Walt retired in 1999, after 40 years in the business.
Walt kept active most of his life. Early on, the couple would hike together in the Cascades. Later on, they played badminton and tennis. In retirement, Walt enjoyed driving his tractor, working in the garden, and fishing in the lake.
A humble man with a strong moral compass, Walt was most proud of his business, family, and home. Walt enjoyed pursuing his spiritual needs also. He attended Zion Lutheran Church, where he was an active member of the congregation and contributed as Treasurer and Usher.
A private burial will take place at Greenacres Memorial Park with plans for a Celebration of Walt’s Life to take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Whatcom Hospice House.