Pauline F. Cartford, 94, died Oct. 22, 2021.

Polly was an accomplished pianist. She played piano and organ growing up in Westford, Mass., and went on to study music at Mt. Holyoke College and the School of Sacred Music in New York.

In 1950, Polly met and married Gerhard Cartford. They raised their family in Eau Claire, Wis.; Seguin, Tex.; and St. Paul. Polly taught elementary school and piano for many years. Later in life she earned a master’s in special education and taught at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in St. Paul.

In 1979, Polly accompanied Gerhard to South America and taught in the American International School system in Bogota, Colombia, and in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They returned to St. Anthony Park in 1990. Polly was active in St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church.

Polly returned to piano studies at McPhail Center for Music in her 80s and found a renewed sense of joy and challenge in her piano practice.

In September 2021, she traveled to the home of her daughter Mary Claire Cartford and son-in-law Eugene Stewart in Taos, N.M., and died a short time later, surrounded by family.

She was preceded in death by husband, sister Claire Tarpenning, and brother Arthur Ferguson. She is survived by children Jonathan (Escondido, Calif.), Peter (Minneapolis) and Mary Claire, plus two grandchildren.

Polly is interred at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Northfield. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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