In Memorium

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Maurice Pollock

Maurice Pollock was known for his work ethic, his generosity and kindness, but it was the combination of all those factors that made him a local legend.

Maurice Pollock started with the bakery as a teenager delivering bread with his father, and worked there 66 years before retiring in 1997 as senior vice-president and treasurer. He was 83 years old at the time.

“We retired him so many times he could start a jewelry store with the watches we gave him,” quipped John Crawford, vice president for sales at the bakery.

“I came here in 1964,” Crawford said. “Maurice Pollock absolutely, unequivocally was the backbone of the Collin Street Bakery.”

More than his own willingness to work, Pollock made work enjoyable for those around him, Crawford said.

“Maurice was fun to be around. You can’t beat that,” Crawford said. “He was just infectious with his personality, and his ability to make you think you were better than you were.”

Jerry Grimmett knew Pollock for 50 years, and was initially hired to help relieve Pollock of some of his duties.

“When I first came to the Collin Street Bakery he was in charge of everything except preparing orders — accounting, production and shipping — and he did it all very well,” Grimmett explained. “I was 22 years of age. I was hired for accounting, to relieve Maurice. They said when he retired, I’d be in charge of accounting.”

“When he retired, he was 83 and I was 65,” Grimmett said. “Mr. McNutt said ‘Are you interested in being in charge of accounting?’ and I said ‘I’m old enough to retire.’”

President of the bakery Bob McNutt was also brought in partly to relieve Pollock.

“When I first came to work full time in 1980 one of the reasons I didn’t go to graduate school was Dad said ‘You need to get back here because you’re going to take over a lot of Mr. Pollock’s responsibilities,’” McNutt recalled. “Mr. Pollock stayed until 1997.”

“Once he got to be about 68 or 70 he’d come every year to Dad and say it’s time to retire, and every year dad would talk him out of it,” McNutt explained. “Mr. Pollock was just doing that because he didn’t want to overstay his welcome. He was a wonderful, wonderful man.”

Almost anyone who worked in the bakery in the 20th century knew of Pollock, and thought fondly of him.

“He was the fixer at the bakery,” said Paul Baggett, owner of High School Cleaners, who remembers his mother telling stories about Pollock from her years at the bakery. “They’d say he could walk on water, and they don’t say that because you’ve got money or got a big car.

“When something went wrong, he’d say ‘Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it,’” Baggett said. “There will never be another one like him.”

In addition to being a cornerstone at the bakery, Pollock was also involved in the community through the YMCA Century Club, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Knights of Pythias, and the Corsicana Country Club. He was a deacon at the Petty’s Chapel Baptist Church, where his generosity and kindness was always noted.

“He donated the playground equipment,” said Letha Forns, who attends the church on Roane Road. “If the kids wanted to go to camp, he made sure they all went to camp who wanted to go. He was wonderful. Just absolutely one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.”

Those who knew him well recalled his beautiful handwriting style, and keen sense of humor. In his spare time, Pollock was a strong family man, who also enjoyed playing golf and watching football.

His nickname “Mitey Mo” came from a long drive he shot some 40 years ago, Crawford explained.

“He was so big and strong and tall, he was 6 foot 5 or so. Everybody hit their drives and he got up and it went so far. From that point on we called him ‘Mitey Mo.’ He’s that to all his old golf partners,” Crawford said.

Pollock is survived by his wife, Aleene, two daughters and a son-in-law, step-son, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

When Pollock was torn between work and play, he chose work but found a way for play to be a part of it.

“My favorite story was back when Corsicana won the state championship in 1963. We were working in the shipping department, and were having to wrap all the fruitcakes to ship by hand,” Crawford said. “The executives said ‘Let’s go down to where the game is being played, and Maurice said ‘As soon as we get caught up we’ll go to the game.’”

The game began at 7 p.m. in Victoria.

“At 2 o’clock I said ‘Maurice, don’t you think we should go to the game?’ and he said ‘Let’s work a little longer.’ At 7, I said ‘We’re not going, are we?’ and he said ‘Let’s turn on the radio,’ and we listened to it on the radio.

“Everybody loved him,” Crawford said. “He was just great.”