Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - (e-edition)

Fond Memories – Friends define Pollard’s legacy”
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2016 - (e-edition) “Fond Memories – Friends define Pollard’s legacy” 

Fond Memories

Friends define Pollard’s legacy

By TRACY ESTES News Editor    

     BRILLIANT - One of the most recognizable names in Marion County has died. This person, Larry Pollard, lived his life in a most unassuming manner.
     Pollard, 72, Brilliant, died on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Northwest Medical Center in Winfield.
     Pollard was probably the most well-known for his auto business--one he began back in 1969 in Brilliant. He graduated from Brilliant High School in 1962 where he had been a member of the school’s undefeated baseball team in 1961.
     Beyond the car dealership, Pollard’s name had become synonymous with checkers as the native son had won 15 state championships and a national checker crown.
     Pollard was a founding member of the Brilliant Church of God where he served in an assortment of leadership roles over the years.
     But while many think of the rich and famous as those who influence a community, there are those who quickly note the contributions Pollard made to his hometown and beyond.
    “I thought the world of Larry Pollard,” said Brilliant High School Principal Jack Hayes. “He was generous in his support of our school with his car dealership. He loaned us a car for driver’s education every year.”
     “He and I grew very close over the years and I considered him a personal friend.” I shared a few of my memories with his kids at the funeral so they will know how much I considered him my friend.”
     Hayes noted the fact each of Pollard’s four children had come through the hallways of Brilliant High School while adding how Larry’s face could always been seen in the crowd supporting his son and daughters.
     “His family grew up here. We grew up together, in a way,” Hayes said with a chuckle. “He was part of our family. Larry touched the lives of so many in this community and even the communities around us.
     “Few people in life can say they have lived life and leave behind no one who can say a bad word about them. Larry was one of those few.”
     Hayes also recalled how his friend would share his talents in the game of checkers at the town’s annual festival--CoalFest.
     Pollard would carry on five or six games of checkers at the same time, accepting challenges from politicians ranging from the mayor to state senators and representatives. Never did the champion fail the challenge, despite facing multiple opponents simultaneously.
     “He was something else. He truly was something else,” Hayes concluded.
     Brilliant Mayor Perry Franks called Pollard a man others should want to emulate.
     “He was the kind of fella who could walk into a room and just light it up with a smile and his personality,” Franks said.
     “He was a good man. He was a very spiritual man. His faith was important to him. He was a good example to others around him. And he was really bigger than life. He was a local legend. Losing a man like him will be tough on our town. He will truly be missed.”
     Heath Sanderson has worked closely with Pollard in recent years. His memories of his colleague will also be fond.
     “He was a father to me,” Sanderson said. “This has been a tough few days. I spent six days a week with him on the job and Sundays at church. I spent more time with him than my wife.
     “He was my best friend. We would talk several times a day. He was one I could speak with in confidence and never worry about his telling what I shared with him. I trusted him and that is a rare thing today.
     “He was a fine Christian man. He would pray anywhere or anytime. He was consistent in his faith--the way he talked and lived. His faith was strong. Nothing shook him. Everyone talks about his car business, but it was second to him when compared to his faith and his walk with Jesus.
     “He would drop anything to pray with somebody or talk church with them. I can not tell you the times I have seen him rush to the store to buy a Bible for someone who had shown an interest in salvation or the church. He was a wonderful man who will be missed.”

     Pollard was the son of David Aaron and Vera Lee Flippo Pollard. He is survived by his wife, Tena, along with three daughters and a son.
     Pollard was the proud grandfather of four and great-grandfather of two.

     Funeral services were held on Tuesday, September 20, directed by Bowen Funeral Home in Winfield. He was buried not far from his home at Brilliant Memorial Gardens.