WILMINGTON — Paulina “Polly” Elizabeth Sweyer, of Wilmington, N.C., passed away peacefully Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016, after a courageous and graceful battle with Multiple Myeoloma. In the end, she was surrounded by her family.
She is survived by her husband of 51 years, David Sweyer. Polly also leaves behind three sons and their wives, Dave and Amy Sweyer, Jeff and Paige Sweyer and Peter and Crissy Sweyer. Polly also leaves behind six talented grandkids who loved performing for their grandma – Brittany Caroline Sweyer, senior at Vanderbilt University, Kaitlin Addison Sweyer, sophomore at Elon University, Elizabeth Lee Sweyer, freshmen at Wake Forest University, Matthew Jeffrey Sweyer, senior at Cape Fear Academy, Reed David Sweyer, sophomore at Cape Fear Academy, and Scarlett Grace Sweyer, third grader at Wrightsville Beach Elementary. Polly also leaves behind her beloved sister, Linda (Sudie) Watkins, and her husband, Rich.
Polly was born on Nov. 15, 1941, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the late Charles and Esther Heitz. She grew up in Ft. Thomas, Ky., graduating from Highlands High School. She went on to earn her bachelors of education from the University of Cincinnati in 1963.
After college, Polly taught elementary education for three years. Polly left her teaching career in 1967 to be a full-time mother to her three sons. During this time, she started a youth soccer league with the YMCA in Corning, N.Y., supported her boys’ athletic endeavors, and was the proud mom of three Eagle Scouts.
In 1980, Polly started her second career becoming a Century 21 Real Estate agent. Polly quickly became a top producer for Century 21 Lane & Associates by assisting Corning executives with their housing needs as they moved to and from the area.
In 1987, Polly and her husband David moved to Wilmington, N.C., and founded Century 21 Sweyer & Associates. Polly was a natural born sales person and helped hundreds of families find homes. Polly was also a great teacher and mentor. Over her career, she helped hundreds of sales associates realize their full potential. The tenacity and persistence she taught others truly had a tremendous effect on everyone she touched.
After she slowed down her real estate career, she took classes at UNCW to continue the quest to learn anything and everything she could. She loved people and their histories and would often get the entire life and family history out of a stranger within the first 10 minutes of speaking with them. She was involved for years with the NHRMC Hospital Foundation, Celebrate Wilmington, and the UNCW Marine Science Center and seemed to have a never-fading energy to help others.
Polly loved to travel. Using her retirement to globe trot, she would always research and learn everything she could about a place and the people before she went. Her favorite places were pursuing relatives in Germany, trips to Spain, Czechoslovakia, Portugal, Russia, Australia, and New Zealand to name a few. She returned from these adventures with intuitive observations about the places she had been and an excitement and passion for seeing everything she could.
Polly’s family extends a deep gratitude for the care provided to her during her battle with Multiple Myeloma by Dr. Cristina Gasparetto and the team at the Bone Marrow Center at Duke University and Dr. Schreiber and the team at the Zimmer Cancer Center.
The family will receive visitors from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 27, at Wrightsville Manor, 1952 Allens Lane. Her memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, at Wrightsville Beach United Methodist Church. There will be a reception following the service at Wrightsville Manor from 2 to 4 p.m. A private burial will take place Monday morning in Arbor Walk at Oleander Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28401; the International Myeloma Foundation, IMF International Headquarters, 12650 Riverside Drive, Suite 206, North Hollywood, CA 91607, USA; or Wrightsville Beach United Methodist Church, 4 Live Oak Drive, Wrightsville Beach 28480.