John Polhemus

Visitation at Funeral Home

4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Thursday, February 17, 2022
Warren Hills Memorial Home
234 W. Washington Ave.
Washington, New Jersey, United States

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Friday, February 18, 2022
United Presbyterian Church
224 Mansfield St
Belvidere, New Jersey, United States

Final Resting Place

Hazen Cemetery Association
911 Brass Castle Rd
Belvidere, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of John D Polhemus

John D. Polhemus, 81, of Hingham, MA, formerly of White Township NJ, passed away surrounded by family on Saturday, February 12, 2022 at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA. John was born on February 26, 1940 in Easton, PA to the late Augustus and Helen Frace Polhemus. John was born and raised in White Township, New Jersey where he and his family operated Crossroads Farm. John graduated from Belvidere High School and earned his bachelor's degree from Albright College. Intent on becoming a minister, John attended the McCormick Seminary of Chicago before changing plans and enrolling in one of the first classes of Peace Corps volunteers in 1962. He taught farming techniques for more than two years to the Quechua people in the jungles of the Beni River of Bolivia, after which he purchased and managed the Bamboo Bar in La Paz. While in La Paz, John met Rita Jones of Weymouth, MA who was working in the American Embassy. They married in Bolivia in 1966 and returned to Belvidere to raise their family and run the family farm in 1967. John and Rita transitioned the then dairy farm to a vegetable farm and garden center. They raised their three young girls together prior to Rita's death from breast cancer in 1975. John continued to farm and devoted himself to his three young girls. John was committed to the community and served in various roles, such as White Township School Board member and White Township Committeeman and Mayor. In 1986 John was elected Warren County Freeholder (now Commissioner), a role he served in for six years. President Bill Clinton appointed John as New Jersey Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. John preserved Crossroads Farm through the Farmland Preservation Program in 2004 and retired to the Bolton Hill neighborhood of Baltimore. John moved to Hingham in 2020 to be closer to his daughters. At each stop, John continued to plant and maintain beautiful gardens. He loved traveling, visiting 5 continents and 30+ countries including trips on the Trans- Siberian Railroad, the Serengeti and the Danube. John loved to cook and closely followed the financial markets. John is survived by his sister Ellie Clarkson of Pacific Grove, CA, three daughters, Teresa Polhemus of Boston, Susan Langley of Weymouth, MA, and Tina Hartnett and her husband John of Hingham, MA; grandchildren, Katie, Caroline and Tommy Hartnett; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife Rita and his sister Shirley Cochran. He will be greatly missed by all. Family and friends may pay their respects on Thursday February 17, 2022 from 4-8 PM at the Warren Hills Memorial Home. 234 W. Washington Ave. Washington, NJ 07882. Funeral services will be celebrates on Friday February 18, 2022 at 11:00 AM at the United Presbyterian Church in Belvidere, 224 Mansfield St, Belvidere, NJ 07823. Interment will follow at Hazen Cemetery. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Warren Hills Memorial Home. To send an on-line condolence please visit In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Dana-Farber Breast Oncology Program.
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