PALM BEACH, FLA. – Polly (Schoenfeld) Wachtenheim, of Palm Beach, formerly of Providence, passed away peacefully on Dec. 22, 2022. She was 97. She spent 60 wonderful years married to the love of her life, Eugene Wachtenheim, who predeceased her.
Polly was born in Dresden, Germany, to David and Esther Schoenfeld. At a very young age, Polly moved with her parents and younger sister, Eva, to Brussels, Belgium. In 1939, the family moved to New York City to begin a new life in America. In her twenties, Polly met Eugene, a charming gentleman who arrived from Europe and spoke five languages. On their first date, he asked her to marry him, and after a short courtship, they wed in 1947. They moved to Providence, where Eugene joined his brothers in a fashion jewelry and Austrian crystal business.
Polly’s life in Rhode Island revolved around her three children and lifelong friends. She dedicated herself to charities, including The Miriam Hospital and Jewish Federation of Rhode Island. Polly and Eugene were members of Temple Emanu-El, of Providence, and Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach. As a member of Ledgemont Country Club, Polly enjoyed playing golf with Eugene and socializing with many friends. Her canasta games were legendary as she played for hours every week. She and Eugene traveled the world, visiting Europe and Asia many times. For pleasure, they enjoyed cruising to many different destinations such as the Mediterranean, South America and Antarctica.
Polly’s greatest joy, of course, was her family, which grew to seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. She lit up a room with her laughter and wit as she entertained family who visited her in Palm Beach, where she spent her final years.
Polly is survived by her three children: Linda Schwarz and her husband, Robert, of Chappaqua, New York; Stanley Wachtenheim and his wife, Mindy, of Miami Beach; and Denise Lewis, of Fairfield, Connecticut. She’s also survived by six grandchildren: David Schwarz, married to Sarah; Allison Group, married to Scott; Arielle Werner, married to Nicholas; Denille Sachs, married to Jordan; Remi Wachtenheim Feld, married to Steven; and Kimberly Gluck, married to Darren.
Polly was blessed with 10 great-grandchildren: Charles and Brody Schwarz; Evan, Scarlett and Juliette Group; Lucas and Mila Werner; Annabelle and Lila Sachs; and Isadore Gluck. She was the grandmother of the late Michael Lewis; mother-in-law of the late William Lewis, M.D.; and sister of the late Eva Jacobson.
She also is survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
Contributions may be made to Temple Emanu-El of Palm Beach, 190 N. County Rd., Palm Beach, FL 33480 or the Simon Wiesenthal Center, 1399 South Roxbury Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90035 or Hadassah Medical Center, Attn: Donor Services, 40 Wall St. 8th FL, New York, NY 10005-1304.