Cover photo for Hannah Pauline "Polly" Solley's Obituary
Hannah Pauline "Polly" Solley Profile Photo

Hannah Pauline "Polly" Solley

November 20, 1936 — February 23, 2024


Hannah Pauline "Polly" Solley

With much love and sadness, we announce the passing of Hannah Pauline “Polly” (Ford) Solley on February 23, 2024, at Smoky Mountain Health and Rehabilitation Center in Waynesville, North Carolina at the age of 87, following a joyful lifetime packed with friends, adventures, and lots of singing.  


Polly was born in Moscow, Tennessee to loving parents Minnie and James Ford, Sr. on November 20, 1936.  She was the oldest sibling and cherished sister of James “Buddy” Ford, Jr., William Ford (deceased) and the youngest, Charles Ford (deceased.) 


Polly and James Ray Deming (deceased) were married for 22 years and had two daughters, Deborah Deming Scully of Clyde, NC (married to Michael Scully) and Cynthia Elise Royce of Vitrac, France (married to William Royce.)  Polly’s one and only grandchild, Natalie Elise Royce, age 22, was gifted with Polly’s loving gaze, hugs, and laughter for many years.  


Polly was raised in Memphis and her love of singing started at an early age and was fine-tuned under the tutelage of some of Memphis’s best voice teachers.  In the church choir, Polly found a home for her voice and lifted it in praise to many a congregation.  Her exuberance for life and joyful personality made her an excellent choice as the leader of the children’s choir.  


Polly never met a stranger or hesitated to bend an ear to their tales of woe or happiness, endowing her with a gift which was a plus in her ability to sell anything to anyone.   After working at Hotpoint Home Center and hosting many a Fashion Two Twenty parties in Memphis, Polly and her family moved to the Chicago area where she worked for the Evan’s Fur Salon.  


Her further adventures in sales included books, janitorial services, cemetery plots and traveling the back roads across the country, selling family photo packages.  She eventually ended up back in Tennessee where she married James Solley, and finally to Waynesville where she spent her final years coloring, singing and visiting to her heart’s content. 


“Polly loved everybody,” her roommate at Smoky Mountain Rehab. shared with tears in her eyes.  Polly truly loved people, accepting them no matter their race, religion or walk of life.  She was indeed one of a kind and will be missed. 


In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:  International Bipolar Foundation | Hope, Resources & Support (

The care of Ms. Solley has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville 

To order memorial trees in memory of Hannah Pauline "Polly" Solley, please visit our tree store.


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