Polly Darlene McIlwain


Polly Darlene McIlwain, 67, of Great Mills, Md. died on Sunday, January 25, 2009 at her residence from colon cancer. She was born in Bethesda , Ohio on February 18, 1941. Her parents returned to Cherry Tree, Pa. where they lived until the death of her father. Her mother moved her and her two other siblings back to Ohio where she lived until a young adult. Her mother relocated the family to Southern California due to her youngest brother's health.

Darlene became a Certified Nurse's Assistant and worked for Royal Oaks Convalescent Hospital, Newhall Hospital, and Verdugo Hills Hospital spanning a 17 year period. It was at this time she made the decision to pursue a dream of becoming a Cosmetologist. She attended Cosmetology School in Glendale, Calif. and eventually passed her State Board Exams uusing her youngest sister, Betty Jo Hopkins as her testing model. She was required to perform various skills on a live model for both hair and nails. Darlene eventually moved to Southern Maryland in 1986. After relocating to this area, she again decided to pursue a dream of driving tractor trailer. She attended a home course study and eventually a hands on training course from the United School of Truck Masters. After passing her exams and becoming the top student of her class, she went on to the MVA to pass her written and driving test. Upon receiving her license to drive the big rigs she again changed her mind and decided to drive locally here in Southern Maryland. Darlene chose to drive a dump truck for the Trading Post in Great Mills, so she could remain close by her daughters and their families. Eventually, she determined to change her profession one last time and became a St. Mary's County Public School Bus Driver and was hired by Mike and Bonnie Kessler of Kessler Bus Services where she was employed for 14 years. Last February, Ms. Knott was diagnosed with advanced cancer and retired so that she could concentrate on her health and enjoy time with her family. She moved in with her youngest daughter and her husband, Sharon and Mark Hamlet and their children so she could be surrounded by love and family.

Friends were received for Darlene's Life Celebration on Saturday, January 31, 2009 at Callaway Baptist Church in Callaway , Md. where a Memorial Service was also conducted with Pastor Daniel Moore officiating. Interment will be private. Memorial Contributions may be made in her memory to Callaway Baptist Church "Building Fund" Callaway Baptist Church, 20960 Point Lookout Road, Callaway, MD 20620. Condolences to the family may be made at www.brinsfieldfuneral.com. Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., Leonardtown , Md.