Florence “Polly” Rowlett

February 26, 2023
Florence “Polly” Rowlett

Gifts & Memorial Donations

On February 26, 2023, Polly (Florence) Johnson Rowlett passed away in her favorite place, Williamsburg, VA. Born in April 1937, she was the daughter of Asa B. Johnson, Sr. and Dorothy Moore Johnson and her brother was Asa B. Johnson, Jr. Polly is survived by her daughter Dorothy Harding (Richard) of Wilmington, DE and her son John Rowlett (Tina) of Burke, VA. She is also fondly remembered by her granddaughters Anne Harding (Clay Shonkwiler) and Elizabeth Harding and her grandsons Jack and Nicholas Rowlett. Polly was great grandmother to Porter Shonkwiler and a beloved aunt to Asa (Bud) B. Johnson, III.

Polly was raised in Chuckatuck, VA and, on her 85th birthday last spring, she and her childhood friends Katie Hager and Joyce Carter regaled her children with stories of their teenage years and life in their small rural village. Polly was valedictorian at Chuckatuck High School. She proudly attended the College of William & Mary where she met Dick Rowlett. Polly stepped away temporarily to marry and have her two kids but bravely returned to complete her degree in 1970.

Polly worked for Ryan Homes, Cameron Brown, the James W. Rouse Company and Paine Webber. She excelled in the mortgage industry and devoted herself to
developing her employees.

Polly retired to Williamsburg where she enjoyed attending football and basketball games and working at the Campus Shop. Polly was a faithful member of the William & Mary Alumni Society, the Quarterback Club, and the men’s basketball supporters. Polly was a huge supporter of W&M athletics and enjoyed hosting dinners for incoming football players in the fall and meeting their families.

After returning to Williamsburg, Polly married Gordon Presson and moved to Suffolk, VA to be closer to family and continue the Moore family’s third Sunday
reunion traditions.

Most recently, Polly spent her retirement cheering for all William and Mary sports, being a faithful fan of the Washington football team, enjoying a good scotch and
her little dog Bella.

A celebration of life at the William and Mary Memorial Gardens will be held Monday, June 5th at 11:00 am, per Polly’s wishes.

Donations in Polly’s honor should be made to William and Mary athletics.


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  • March 27, 2023
    Peggy Lukas says:
    Polly was a dear friend and a true W&M fan. She will be missed!

  • March 03, 2023
    Susie Stewart says:
    Polly has been such a wonderful friend!! She showed us all what it meant to be a true WM Tribe fan! We met through the QB club and had such fun hosting players together. She was so excited to get to go to one last WM football game this season! GO TRIBE!