After a long fight, Joan Mercedis Polko, beloved mother and grandmother, lost her battle with cancer on December 13, 2019, at the age of 84 years young. She passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her four children. Born April 29, 1935 in Clairton, PA, she was the loving daughter of the late Margaret Gilmore Harding and Charles Harding. Joan was the loving wife of John Joseph Polko whom she married June 27, 1959 in Aliquippa, PA, and who preceded her in death on October 8, 2014.
Joan is survived by her children: Dr. Lisa Polko (Dianne) of Leonardtown, MD, Cindy Bassford (Bryan) of Leonardtown, MD, John Polko II (Shelley) of Huntingtown, MD, Kathy Daye (Daryl) of Johnson City, TN, 5 grandchildren: Jessica Moser, John Logan Polko (Kaitlyn), Brandon Bassford, Kaitlin Beasley-Polko, and Kylee Beasley-Polko, 1 great-grandchild: Laniya Harris, along with her sister: Eleanor Harding Sweterlitsch of Coraopolis, PA,. She was preceded in death by her siblings Vivian Sweeney, Edgar Harding, Charlotte Sweterlitsch, and Mary Elizabeth Johnson.
Joan graduated from Moon High School in 1954, she then received her Associates Degree in Business in 1956. She moved from Rivia, MD to St. Mary’s County in 2008. She was an accounting secretary at Bowie High School for 32 years and then she retired in 2005. She loved bowling, golf, gardening, and painting. Her passion and purpose was her family, which she placed above everything else. She was strong in her faith and was a member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church in Leonardtown, MD.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, December 18, 2019 from 5:00PM to 8:00PM with prayers recited at 7:00PM in the Mattingley-Gardiner Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown, MD. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, December 19, 2019 at 10:00AM in St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Leonardtown, MD with Father Rob Maro officiating. Interment will follow in St. Francis Xavier Catholic Cemetery, Leonardtown, MD. Serving as pallbearers will be John Polko II, Daryl Daye, Logan Polko, Brandon Bassford, Bryan Bassford, Bill Sweterlitsch, and Tom Koviak.
In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.