LELAND — Pauline “Polly” Lacy Steen Gafford, 95 of Leland, passed away Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at her home. Polly was born in Laramie, WY, on May 20, 1925, and her life path included childhood in her family’s Colorado prairie homestead south of Cheyenne, WY, where she rode ponies with her brother to a one-room schoolhouse; later schooling in Emmett, ID, where her best friend was sent to an internment camp; graduating high school in Richmond, CA, where she later helped the WWII effort by working at Standard Oil with her brother. On a trip to Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS, to visit her brother before deployment, Polly met Capt. Lloyd Steen, whom she married in 1945 and with whom she raised her family. She helped Lloyd, a farmer and agriculture aviator, run his Mid-Delta Crop Service for 13 years, and continued as Owner after his untimely death in 1974 until her retirement in 1994.
In 1981, she married Walter “Bud” Gafford and they enjoyed years of dancing, friends, and motorhome travel across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico until Bud’s passing in 2013. The family is proud of their mother for being a fine equestrienne; seamstress; ceramicist; chef; community volunteer in PTA, 4-H, Girl Scouts, and more; and also forever grateful to her for raising her children in church and filling their homes and memories with music, creativity, understanding, discipline, compassion, laughter and love.
Pauline is preceded in death by her parents J. E. Lacy and Opel Kunkel Lacy, husbands Lloyd Steen and Bud Gafford, great-granddaughter Gracie Tollison, grandson Keith Verner, and brother Gene Lacy. She is survived by her 4 children: Pam Steen Horton (Mike, Indianola MS), Lynda Steen Yule (Don, Clinton MS), David Steen (Deborah, Leland MS) and Kathryn Steen (Nashville TN), as well as 6 grandchildren: Steven Verner (Becky), Lacy Horton Tollison (Jeff), Michael Horton Orsak (Keith), Stephanie Steen Ewing (Chris), Lloyd Steen (Teresa), Dave Steen (Jordan), and 15 great-grandchildren: Lizzie, Anna Griffin, and Ruthie Tollison; Aubrey, William, Abby, and Wesley Orsak; Riley Verner; Steen Buckner; Lanie Ewing; Whitman and Hayes Steen; and Maddox, Olivia, and Warren Steen.
The family thanks Polly’s longtime, devoted caregivers: Valerie Morris, Linda Morris and Virginia Folton.
Due to COVID-19 risks in gathering, a private family service was held on July 9 at the chapel of Boone Funeral Home in Leland, MS. Memorials may be directed to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis TN 38105, or the charity of your choice.