Susan Polentz, 1944-2023
UPCOMING SERVICE Celebration Of Life Aug. 26, 2023 2:00 p.m. St. Peter's by the Sea Presbyterian Church Send Flowers


Susan Dorothy Polentz, born Susan Garland on February 14, 1944, passed away on May 31, 2023, with her husband of 53 years and her family by her side.

A beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to many, she will be greatly missed and fondly remembered. Sue is survived by her husband, Bob, '64;daughter, Kea, sons Dustin and Tyler, brother Dean and sisters Carla and Karen, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Sue was born in Long Beach, CA to Captain Guy Garland (USN) and his wife Dorothy, both of whom were at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. As a member of a Navy family, Sue's early life was filled with family moves to new places every few years including Omaha, NE, Bogota, Columbia, Tacoma, WA and finally back to Long Beach.

She completed high school in Long Beach and went on to graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara with dual majors in history and English. She earned a secondary teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach and began her teaching career at a junior high school in 1967. She later earned a master's degree from USC. She went on to teach high school history and English in the Long Beach Unified High School District. In total, Sue taught for 45 years, the last ten at a continuation high school where her skills as a teacher were greatly respected. She had a gift for the profession, and she touched and changed many lives.

Sue met her husband to be at a naval station mixer at the Long Beach Naval Station where Bob, a naval officer, was on duty. The couple married 4 months later. This was a whirlwind romance that went on for over 53 years, raising three children and enjoying many travel adventures and each other's company.

The couple lived most of their lives in Huntington Beach. Sue enjoyed horseback riding, skiing, fishing and traveling throughout her life. Sue was a devoted animal lover, having dogs, cats and horses her whole life.

Horses were a very large part of Sue's life. She began riding early in life but had to give it up to pursue her career and raise three children. Upon the children's high school graduations, Sue purchased her first horse and over the next 25 years, she rode and trained at the Huntington Beach Equestrian Center. Virtually every day Sue would return from work and head to the stables where she would ride or simply care for the various horses owned through the years. She rode English and trained her horses as hunters participating in many horse shows throughout her riding career winning many ribbons in the classes in which she rode. Sue rode well into her 70s and only stopped after her cancer diagnosis. Truly, horses and riding were a great passion of her life.

Travel was Sue's other passion. She traveled to Europe and the Soviet Union before she was married and later backpacked through Europe with Bob after he completed his military service. Later in life, there were trips throughout the US as well as trips to Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and back to Europe for several river cruises and an ocean cruise from Venice to Barcelona. She loved to experience new places, tastes and adventures. She was an avid skier enjoying resorts throughout the West. She even took up fly fishing to have something fun to do with Bob and became quite proficient at the sport though she did not really like fishing, she only liked catching.

Sue's was a life very well lived and she will be greatly missed by her family and her friends. She was the best wife and mother anyone could ask for while taking under her wing thousands of students through the years.

A celebration of life will be held on August 26 at 2:00 in the afternoon at St. Peter's by the Sea Presbyterian Church in Huntington Beach. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the American Cancer Society in her name.

Published by Orange County Register from Jul. 30 to Aug. 2, 2023.


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