Polando, Jonathan K.

May 31, 1963 - February 3, 2014

Jonathan Keith Polando was born on May 31, 1963 and passed away from us on February 3, 2014 after having lost a valiant fight against a rare, incurable and aggressive cancer that began in his appendix and was diagnosed in April 2012. He is survived by his mother, Betty Polando of Moyers, Oklahoma; daughters, Jessica and Jennifer Polando; his four siblings, of which he was the youngest along with his twin, Jeff Polando; sisters, Terry Trotter and Robyn Moore, brother Gregg Polando, and countless other family members and friends. He will be missed and his memory always embraced.

Jon was one of those rare few that enjoyed and was fulfilled with his work. After working for the SMU athletic department as a young man he began working with the Highland Park ISD as the district courier, quickly moving to the HPMS facility supervisor and then finding his calling as the Director of Facility Services for the district. He was hands on, consistently visiting each campus, checking in with his staff, following up on projects and taking the district through several construction projects. For more than 20 years he called the Highland Park ISD home and served the schools and community there until he had to resign on May 31st, 2013.

A social butterfly with a variety of hobbies he enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, laying on the beach, good food, and drink, and spending time with friends that appreciated his rapid fire wit and charm. He was a diehard Star Trek fan, loved sound track music, enjoyed manning the grill, working with his hands, and he loyally drove a white Ford F150 until finally trading it in for a new white Ford F150. If you ever needed anything done all you had to do was threaten to do it yourself and he’d do it for you so it was done right. He was able to spend his last year taking a few trips, enjoying time with various friends, family, his girlfriend, Vanita Tolbert, best friend, Darla Jones, and two special dogs, Cash & Tango, who he credited for giving him a reason to get up each morning towards the end so that he kept moving forward and giving him something to do.

“Something to do”- those three words are the best reflection of Jon. He was never happy being idle or not making himself useful. And while he will not be there when his daughters marry, will not be able to spend time with his future grandchildren, will not grow old enough to enjoy retirement, left this life way too soon, and will be greatly missed, there is a pleasant comfort for those that loved him in knowing he can finally rest. Something to do – no dear friend, it’s time to rest now.


At the family’s request in lieu of flowers, any desired donation can be made payable to Debbie Steel, Antlers Senior Citizen Center, 105 NW 3rd Street, Antlers, OK 74523.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held at Winfrey Point on White Rock Lake, in Dallas, the evening of Sunday, February 16th, beginning at 5:30 PM where we will have a service, food, drink, and will attempt to celebrate our friend in a fashion fitting of his spirit. All are welcome to attend.

ARIA Cremation Service & Funeral Home
10116 E. NW Highway
Dallas, Texas 75238

28 replies on “Polando, Jonathan K.”

Scott Luce says:

Jon was a true friend to all.
I admired his passion for his work and attention to detail.
We will miss his energy and smile.

Larry Groppel says:

I am deeply saddened to learn of Jon’s passing. We worked successfully together for 3.5 years and enjoyed every minute of it. My thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones.

Larry D. Groppel

John Bunten says:

I had the great pleasure to work with Jon for 9 years as a HPISD school trustee member. Jon’s love for the HPISD and the community will be terribly missed but cherished dearly. His passion to detail , knowledge of the HPISD facilities and their history to the community enabled him to run these facilities at remarkable savings even while overseeing very large bond construction projects at the same time. Jon always had a smile and special humor whenever you saw him. Jon, thanks for making our school facilities a wonderful place to learn for the thousands of children who graced its steps every day for the past 20 years.

Susan Recker says:

It was wonderful knowing Jon and calling him friend. I have many wonderful memories, one of the fondest is watching him fry fish at the annual fish fry lunch for the staff. I will miss him and his quick wit. Jon was always there for us no matter what the issue was. Rest in peace my friend.

Scott Boswell says:

Jon always had a smile and everyone else’s best interest at heart. He was a great man and he be miss by many.

Judye Gremm says:

As a new employee at Highland Park ISD, my position interacted with Jon’s quite frequently. From the moment I met him, I knew he was special. He took me under wing and helped me navigate the nuances of working in the district in a manner that always made me feel valued and necessary. He covered for my stupidity, high-fived my successes and picked me up when I was “under the bus.” I will hold ant Jon’s spirit close to me forever. All of us fortunate enough to have known and loved him are the lucky ones indeed.

Janet and Robert Schafer says:

Jon was great uncle and brother-n-law . My husband and him love to fish together but every time they went someone would get in trouble mostly Robert. There was always a story. Jon may you rest in peace you will be missed by all.

Jennifer Polando says:

Although my father has gone to be with our savior he lives within my sister and I forever. He dedicated his life to the district of HPISD and touched so many lives. He was always a giver and never reciever. Now he gets to give us the best gift of all.. being our angel that watches
over us every single day. I love you dad, always have and always will. Ill see you around 🙂

Ann Cauthen Kight says:

I remember the smile on Jon’s face his first day as HPISD courier. He continued to smile through the years and I’m sure is smiling down on his family and friends. My deepest sympathy to his family.

Julie Garrison Grigsby says:

So sorry to hear about Jon. He was a great friend and will be sorely missed. I will always remember those Friday nights when the “gang” would gather at the Polando house to share stories and laughs. Miss those good times! Many thoughts and prayers to the girls and his family.

Fred Oliver says:

As the HP Scots baseball coach, I got to know Jon through my continual asking for something on the field. Once I showed that is was good for the facility he would get it for me. He cared about HPISD and made sure that we took care of our facilities. I know he will be missed by many.
God Bless,
Coach Oliver

Bob Hunnicutt says:

I enjoyed working with Jon at Highland Park ISD and will miss his energy, smile and great wit. No challenge was to large. He would just say, “what do you need me to do?” My prayers are with his family.

Vanessa L Hart says:

I’d come to rely on Jon, over the last 14 years, as a sounding board, a source for brutal honesty, a handy man, a confidant, a source of juicy gossip, weather reports, for a record of how many times I said “um” during presentations, and amazing brisket! We spoke often of how in death it’s important to be honest about the person, and remember who they really were in life, sinner and saint, and with Jon there’s enough material on both sides of that to keep my memory of him entertained for years to come. Loved ya buddy!

Kellison Golden says:

I’ve worked in HPISD for 8 years now and saw lots of Jon. He always had a smile on his face. I’ve had my own fight of cancer over the last couple years and I admire his courage and fight through these last hard months. I will continue to lift yall up in prayers and good thoughts; may the amazing memory of him and who he is live on forever. xo

Gloria McNutt says:

I am very sad to hear about the loss of Jon. I enjoyed working with Jon for 13 years in HP. He was always a support to Bradfield and me. I could call on him day or night with a problem and he was always there to help and advise — to make sure that Bradfield was ready for our children and staff. Jon was a wonderful man and friend. He will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Gloria McNutt

Gail Hartin says:

Rest in peace, dear Jon. Thank you for being an example of servant leadership to all of us who were blessed to work with you in HPISD.

Michael Hart says:

It was a pleasure getting to know you, Jon. Our minds clicked together as though we had been cut from the same cloth. I trust that you rest in the memory and hands of God. “Live long and prosper.”

Caren Edelstein says:

It was such a joy to work with Jon. He was a dear man who gave 100% with humor and a deep understanding of what needed to be done to make a building run and be a wonderful place for students and staff. May his memory be a blessing to all who knew him.

Patty and Jim Litterer says:

Saddened to here of Jon leaving this earth way to soon ….there are no “right” words to say … Will be praying for all the family that are left behind and his friends ..to my friend Robyn and Jon’s Mom Betty ..I truly am saddened

Tri-thanh-Phan says:

Jon,you were a good boss,you were hard work,devoted, fair,smiled to everyone at all times.You had served HPISD as your home.Community
needs a man as you.Imissed you forver.

Linda Salinas says:

I had the pleasure of working with Jon every year he was in HPISD. I watched him climb from district courier to Director of Maintenance because of his hard work and dedication. There was no person more well liked in the district. I pray that angels hold his loved ones tightly in their wings during this time of extreme sorrow. We love you, Jon.

Sebrena Cohen & Family says:

On Wings Of Love

As a fledgling I stumbled, trying again and still more,
Ever growing and learning, while trying to soar.
And then, in an instant time seemed to stand still…
As I tested my wings, and I followed God’s will.
Spirit gave me the courage to take to the sky.
Faith gave me wings, and love let me fly.
Now I know how it feels to touch the heavens above,
I can rise above all on the wings of Love. Jon

Jeff Barnes says:

Jessica and Jennifer, we are sad at the loss of your father, a man who never had a bad day. He made all of us around the HPISD feel like we were family with him. We know that you will miss him dearly but please understand how special he was to many, many folks. God Bless you both.

Marianne Harkness says:

I was deeply saddened to hear of Jon’s passing. I had the privilege of working with him many years ago at HPISD. He was a good man and he will be missed. My condolences to Jennifer and Jessica and the rest of his family. My prayers are with you.

John Gillette says:

I had the privilege to work with Jon when I was the Fire Marshal at University Park Fire Department for 4 years. Jon was a great and caring man to his community and his family. I really enjoyed working with such a fine professional person. We work together for various school issues and incidents. It is a huge loss to the community. I know that Jon is a better place with no suffering and probably trying to work or getting something done. Jon and I shared the same birthday and we at lunch and celebrated getting older together each year. Jon was very dedicated to his friends and his family. I will miss his friendship and I am very saddened by his loss. I will pray for Vanita, hs family, and his friends. I will miss his humor and his friendship. God blessed us with Jon and I know he is in a better place feeling no pain in heaven. He is likely stirring the pot if you know what I mean. I am very saddened for this loss.

Angie Pace says:

Oh Jon…. I’m so sad to hear about this. I remember when you texted me and told me that you had something to tell me and that when I did see you… You broke the news that you had cancer. I had just recently lost my mom to cancer and it really made me appreciate every time I saw you.I was always delighted to see your happy face and positive attitude. Never a negative word came out of your mouth. Your smile and laugh will never be forgotten. If I had only known you were in hospice care. I would have come to see you and at least let you know how much you were loved and cared for in this busy world we all seem to live in. My heart truly is sad. Thank you for always being you. I’m glad that you no longer have to feel the battle of cancer playing out in your body and you are home with the angels. It’s going to be tough for those of you who loved you to get used to the fact you are not here anymore. I guess we have to retrain our thinking in being thankful for having you in our lives. Because it was a joy to see you smile and hear that infectious laugh. You were and are always going to be that awesome guy who made others laugh and smile. I’m so sorry that I didn’t get to hug you one last time and say thank you for your kindness. I will forever remember you. I pray your children and loved ones cope with your loss and know they were blessed to have had you in their lives. Hugs and kisses to you…. Hopefully I will be able to meet you on the same side when my turn comes. Cancer sucks. We love you Jon.

Jocelyn Dennis-Milton says:

I just heard the news today that Jon had passed. I am his father’s sister Betty’s youngest daughter, and live in Ohio. Although I never got to meet Jon in person, I did hear my mom mention his name as growing up. I am keeping him and all of you, his family, in my thoughts and prayers. Even though we are separated by miles, his obituary proves that our Polando genes run true…everything needs to be done right! I pray that he enjoys his rest, and I am sure he knows how much he was loved. God Bless. With Love, his Ohio cousin, Jocelyn

Roy Dunn says:

I was speaking about Jon and they told me the news of his passing last year. I worked with Jon at both SMU and Highland Park and enjoyed him tremendously due to his quick wit and good natured tolerance of our practical jokes and other ways to get his attention. He was one of those guys who led by example and was the first to line up to help you when you needed help in any way. I will always remember you. Rest in peace Jon.

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