Janette Arvilla (Light) Polker


Janette Arvilla (Light) Polker, 87, of Grand Rapids, passed away peacefully on January 23, 2023, at the Bridge Hospice Care Center in Bowling Green. She was born October 15, 1935, to Frank and May (Wenner) Light in McClure, Ohio. She was a 1953 graduate of McClure High School. On December 23, 1953, she married Raymond Polker at Emanuel Lutheran Church in Napoleon and they celebrated 66 years of marriage.

Janette was a wonderful mother, gracious grandmother, loving great-grandmother, devoted friend, and woman of deep faith in Christ. She is fondly remembered by her family for her many culinary skills such as baked bread and desserts, canned fruits and vegetables, delicious jams and jellies, daily family sit-down meals, knitted Christmas stockings, hand sown clothes, quilts, and so much more. Her warm smile and always-gracious presence were solid rocks upon which her family was molded and shaped. Beyond all of this, she was a fountain of grace-filled counsel and loving wisdom to all of us. What she so gracefully imparted to us will continue to live on in the form of values, virtues, and lasting memories.

She enjoyed spending time with her wide array of friends over tea or a baked goodie. She also enjoyed playing bridge, working crosswords, and matching wits with Sudokus. But her greatest joy was found in being a part of her various prayer groups and Bible studies. The friends she made there remained an important part of her life right up to the end. She embodied the scriptures in her life while displaying an incredible faith in God, even in the most difficult times. She was a rock to so many. Her treasured place amid the Waterville Community Church family, which was a source of rich relationships and powerful support for her life of faith, was of extreme importance.

She is survived by her children Thomas (Julie) Polker of Napoleon, Susan (Allen) Reckner, Jack (Diann) Polker, Jane (Bruce) Crosby, Joel (Karen) Polker, and Nancy (Terrance) Kelly, all of Grand Rapids. In addition, she leaves behind 16 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, and her brother, Dr. Jimmy A Light of Westport, CT. She was preceded in death by her parents and devoted husband.

The family will receive visitors on Sunday, January 29, from 1-4pm at the Hanneman Funeral Home, 24084 W. 2nd St, Grand Rapids. Her memorial service will be held at Waterville Community Church, 8217 Dutch Rd. Waterville on Monday, January 30 at 11am. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Waterville Community Church or a church of any donor’s choice.

On-line condolences and fond memories may be left for the family by visiting www.hannemanfuneralhomes.com.

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