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John Polston


John Polston, 86, of Dayton, passed away peacefully the evening of Friday, May 3, 2013.

He was born in Monroe, Wis., on June 14, 1926, to the late John and Maggie Cecil Polston. He also was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; his sister, Myrtle Soter; and his grandson, John Polston.

He is survived by a sister, Gertrude (Crago); brother, McKinley; children, John Andrew (Marianne), Helen (Paul) Martin, Diana, Christopher (Judy), Daniel, David (Julie) and Mark (Cynthia); grandchildren, Cindi, Brad, Brandon, Christie, Jason, Summer, Shannon, Blane, Amanda, Colin, Sam, Carrie, Meghan, Aaron, Zane, Matt, Sierra and Eli; and many nieces, nephews, great-grandchildren and good friends.

His family moved from Wisconsin to Dayton, where he attended Grace A. Green Elementary School, then Roosevelt High School.

He enlisted in the Marine Corps when he was 17 and fought in the battle of Iwo Jima, landing on Feb. 19, 1945. He received the Combat Action Ribbon and the Navy Presidential Unit Citation for his service.

He married the former Helen Balog in 1946 and attended the Dayton Art Institute from 1948 to 1952, earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Dayton in 1963 and worked at NCR as a technical illustrator from 1958 to 1970.

He was chairman of the Art Department at Sinclair Community College from 1970 to 1990. He founded the Dayton Visual Arts Network, won an award for his inception of the Graphic Arts Technical Program at Sinclair College and ran the Dayton Art Expo for many years. He was president of the Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors from 1990 to 1992 and was involved in many other art organizations in the area.

He taught at the Springfield Art Museum from 1990 to 2005 and won the DAI’s Pamela P. Houk Award for Excellence in Art Education in 2007. He remained a passionate art educator for the rest of his life.

Visitation is from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Newcomer Funeral Home, 4104 Needmore Road, Dayton, where Chaplain Hal Ward officiates a funeral at 11 a.m. Thursday. Burial follows at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, with a reception immediately afterward at the home of David Polston in Brookville.

Memorial contributions may be made to Acclaim Hospice of Dayton, the Dayton Art Institute or the Alzheimer’s Association.

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