Cover photo for Polly Elizabeth Sharp Cathcart's Obituary
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Polly Elizabeth Sharp Cathcart

September 5, 1946 — February 12, 2024

Charleston

Polly Elizabeth Sharp Cathcart

Polly Elizabeth Sharp Cathcart was born on September 5, 1946, in Atlanta, GA, the only child of Sara Landrum Sharp and Albert Eakin Sharp. Polly, particularly close to her father, was nine years old when he died suddenly after a few years of illness. Mr. Sharp had come to Atlanta from Chattanooga at the invitation of his high school friend, Ralph McGill, then editor of the Atlanta Constitution Newspaper. Mr. Sharp, an avid golfer created a golfing column, “Sharp Shooting.” They lived in Ansley Park, and he and Polly would often walk the golf course together, some of her fondest memories. Mr. Sharp would later become a partner in a prominent Atlanta advertising firm, where he managed, among others, the Lays Potato Chip account. A story told by Polly’s cousins is that one day he came home with an unmarked bag of curly-looking  potato chips and asked the very little girl, Polly, what should he call them ?  She answered, “Ruffles !”

Polly’s mother made sure Polly got a good education. She first attended Spring Street Grammar School, then Westminster Schools, and then Emory University. At Emory Polly earned a BA in Chemistry. She then did a year of post-graduate  training in Medical Technology at Emory University Hospital.  Polly had godparents she adored who lived in the DC area. She then sought her first job in medical technology at the University of Maryland Hospital. After a year she decided to return to Atlanta, applied for a job at Emory University Hospital, where she soon became the Supervisor of the Chemistry Lab for some  twenty-five years. During this period Polly earned her MMsc (Masters) in Clinical Chemistry at Emory University School of Allied Health. She also earned Specialty Certifications: MT (ASCP) 1970, SC (ASCP) 1976, and NRCC  in1983.  She had also become very active in such laboratory technology organizations as: AACC (1978), ASCP (1979), where she served on the board, and CLMA (1992).  She also served on innumerable committees, gave many presentations, and co-authored  many abstracts and publications, as well as author book reviews  in her field. After Emory Hospital Polly’s next job was to supervise the Piedmont Hospital Chemistry Lab for some ten years. Polly would make many good friends in her career, including Eleanor, Joan, and Vanja at Emory Hospital.

 Polly had many interests. Her godmother, Anna Warwick, had taught her much about opera. Over the years she attended many performances and collected many opera cd’s of all kinds, her favorite being Wagner’s Ring. Introduced to French in high school, she continued for many years in French-speaking groups in Atlanta. Polly loved art and collected many a print. She was quite a swimmer and walker, staying well-exercised most of her life. For some years she was interested in public speaking, in Atlanta belonging to Toastmasters; in Charleston to The Century Club. She volunteered with friends through AARP to help people prepare their taxes. She grew roses, having some 30 bushes in Atlanta and even 10 here in Charleston. When she married her second husband, Paul Cathcart, she shared his interest in running, completing several Peachtree Road Races. Since her European tour after college Polly loved to travel, especially Europe and France. She introduced Paul to travel, even paying for their honeymoon in Greece and Egypt in 1990. They would take many more trips abroad.  Thanks to their Croation friends, Vanya and Josko, they traveled to South America, Africa, and China. Polly was an avid reader, easily completing a book or two every month. Finally she loved animals, owning  cats since childhood and later, thanks to Paul’s brother, Bobby, Labrador Retrievers as well. She gave to animal charities. Polly was a loyal Democrat, following in the footsteps of her parents. She and Paul never let his opposing views come between them. Last but not least, Polly valued her close cousins, Varner and Andy and their families. She and Paul always appreciated being included. Obviously Polly was of high intelligence. She had the sense to educate herself when choosing a topic of interest.

Tragically in 2018 Polly was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease, which progressed to the point that she needed care at Indigo Hall. Her family thanks those who looked out for Polly and showed her special love and attention. Due to other complications Polly needed more intensive care in her last days. Gentiva Hospice was called in and was invaluable to her comfort during that time.

Truly a bright star has left this earth.

A graveside service for Polly will be held at St Philips Church, 142 Church Street, West Cemetery, at 2:00pm Wednesday, February 21. Friends and family will gather in the Church Office at 1:30pm. Funeral Arrangements will be by J Henry Stuhr, Downtown.  Any who desire to make a memorial gift are asked to send it to: Charleston Animal Society, 2455 Remount Road, North Charleston, SC  29406- 6138.

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Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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