Polly Elizabeth Sinclair

Published 12:38 pm Saturday, January 17, 2015



Sept. 8, 1922 – Jan. 12, 2015


Polly Elizabeth Sinclair died January 12, 2015, at the age of 92.  She was a decades-long resident of Roseville, California.

Polly was born September 8, 1922 to Ura Swindell and Elizabeth Swindell, in Bath. Her mother was a homemaker, and her father was a businessman and real estate investor who owned and managed Swindell’s Cash Store, the general store and the surrounding community. She had one sibling, her younger brother, Jack Swindell, who continued in his father’s work.

She graduated from Bath High School in 1939; and from Atlantic Christian College (now, Barton College) in 1943, with a Bachelor of Arts (French). During the war, she served her country as a civilian employee of the United States Army Signal Corps, in Washington, D.C., translating messages from Vichy France.

In 1945, after the war’s end, she married F. Larry Sinclair, when he returned from overseas military service in the U.S. Army Air Corps.  Before the war, he had been among her high school teachers. Immediately after they were married, they moved to Berkeley, California, where Larry enrolled at the University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law.  In 1949, after he graduated and was admitted to the California State Bar to practice law, they moved to Auburn, California.  In 1958, they moved to Roseville, California. They raised three sons, all lawyers. Throughout their life, Polly drolly referred to her husband as “Sinclair,” and cherished memories of their life together in the years following his death on July 11, 2000.

Polly was a gracious hostess, an avid reader of fiction, a crossword puzzle enthusiast, and bridge player. For decades she was a member of a local bridge club with her friends and founding members Barbara Chilton, Carol Wilson, Coralie Corin, Jerri Jean Winters, Lydia Lewis and Mary Sparks. Known simply as “the Bridge Club,” it was rumored to be an unofficial but potent civic institution. In 2005, she donated the property that comprised Swindell’s Cash Store, which she had inherited, to the North Carolina Preservation Trust for the benefit of the local community in Bath.  Most important, she was a homemaker and a loving and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and aunt.

She was known by friends and family alike as reserved, kind, and gracious. Even though she suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for most of her life, she was quietly a strong, capable woman, an equal partner in life with her husband, and she is admired and remembered as a matriarch by her family and extended family.

Polly is survived by her sons and daughters-in-law, Larry and Stefani Sinclair of Roseville, California; Robert and Christine Sinclair of Rocklin, California; and John Sinclair of San Francisco, California; her grandchildren, Traci Knox (Paul) of Reno, Nevada; Lindsey McClure (Blake) of Lincoln, California; Sarah Sinclair of Seattle, Washington; and Brian Sinclair of San Francisco, California; her great grandchildren, Gracie McClure, Auden Knox, and Leah McClure; her niece and nephews, Peter Komasa (Taffy) of San Diego, California; Tony Komasa (Gail) of Pinetop, Arizona; Edward Swindell (Jacquelin) of Greenville; Elizabeth (“Beth”) Swindell Niser (Harry) of Bath; Jeff Sinclair (Janet) of Roseville, California; Henry Sinclair of Newcastle, California; Keith Sinclair (Karin) of Penryn, California; and Douglas Sinclair of Newcastle, California; her former daughter-in-law, Traci’s and Lindsey’s mother, Diane Murray, née Watkins (Richard) of Dorena, Oregon, formerly of Rocklin, California; her son Larry’s step-children and grandchildren, Gabrielle Rocha, Breanan Rocha, Kyah Rocha, and Jackson Rocha; and by more distant kin and many dear friends.

She is preceded in death by her husband; her brother; her brother- and sisters-in-law, Rachel Swindell, of Bath; Dr. Benjamin and Florence Komasa of Phoenix, formerly of San Diego, Ashland, Kentucky, and Mt. Vernon, Illinois; Henry and Dolly Sinclair of Citrus Heights, California; her niece, Penny Sinclair of Roseville, California; and by more distant kin and dear friends.

A public reception to commemorate Polly’s life will be held Saturday, January 24, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., at the Whitney Oaks Country Club, in Rocklin, California.  Her remains will be buried at the Roseville Public Cemetery, next to her husband’s, in a private ceremony.  In lieu of flowers, her family suggests that those inclined to do so make a donation to the Roseville Library Foundation (rosevillelibraryfoundation.org). Please share love and memories on Polly’s guestbook at www.cochranewagemann.com.