Skip to content

Rachelle Polkinghorn

Rachelle Joy Polkinghorn, 55, of Moville, IA, went to be with the Lord while surrounded by her family on January 29, 2024, at a local hospital.

A celebration of life was held Saturday, February 3, 2024, at 11:30am at Family Worship Center.  

Rachelle was born on November 27, 1968, in Long Beach, California, to Robert and Reta (Fisher) Gotto. Bob and Reta eventually moved back to Iowa to settle down, and Iowa is where Rachelle was raised and lived out her life. Growing up, Rachelle loved playing on the farm with her sister and brother. She had many pets, including dogs, cats, and even a pig. As a child, she made mix tapes of herself singing. This is something that turned into singing and dancing to the radio as she grew older.

She spent most of her school years at Woodbury Central and made many friends there over the years. Rachelle eventually met her best friend, Eric Polkinghorn, a “Lawton guy,” when she was 15. They were high school sweethearts. She would often reminisce of the time she told Eric that he was the man she was going to marry after the second date. Rachelle graduated from Anthon-Oto High School in May of 1987. Shortly after graduation, Eric and Rachelle married on August 8, 1988. They were together for almost 40 years. 

Rachelle had many jobs over the years, most involving service to others and nurturing children. Rachelle was devoted to improving the lives of other people in any way she could by being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. She worked at local nursing homes as a CNA and an Activities Director. Rachelle had an in-home daycare for 16 years. She also had a photography business called Shots by Shelly that she did in addition to daycare. She was a foster parent with Eric for 18 years, helping love and care for over 40 foster children. She also served as the DHHS liason to foster and adoptive families in Woodbury County. This role eventually led her to be a post-adoption support worker for LSI. Rachelle later went on to attain her bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Couseling from Wayne State College in May of 2016. After attaining her degree, she was a Behavioral Health Interventionist and counselor. In the last years of her life, Rachelle worked as a substitute teacher at Leeds and Bryant Elementary, which she truly loved. She always talked with such joy about helping students through life and making sure they learned a lot along the way. Over the years, Rachelle loved to volunteer at church. She participated in Vacation Bible School, leading youth groups, Convoy of Hope, and many other things. She was always there for anyone who needed her. 

Rachelle was known for her beautiful smile, her contagious laugh, joyfulness, and sense of humor. She loved a good adventure and being spontaneous and goofy. She enjoyed going to thrift stores and collecting vintage things, all of which were her “favorites.” She just loved “pretty things.” She loved her plants, camping, being in nature, crafting, going to worship events and concerts, decorating, planning, snuggling up with her dog Sadie to watch a good movie, trips to the farm, and cruising around in Eric’s Chevelle. The accomplishment she was most proud of and by far her favorite thing to do was being a mom. She was a devoted and loving wife, mother, nana, sister, aunt, daughter, friend, and teacher. She loved being with her family, and it was very important to her that everyone spent time together, making memories and sharing life. She loved being with her children and grandbabies and cherished the time she had to spoil them and play with them. After all, she believed “life is too short” to miss out on any moments with loved ones. Most importantly, Rachelle loved Jesus and wanted everyone she knew to have a personal relationship with Him so they could spend eternal life in Heaven. Rachelle’s profound unconditional love for others, her joyful spirit, and her devotion to God, family, and service will be deeply missed by many.

Those left to honor and cherish her memory include her husband Eric Polkinghorn, Moville, IA; children: Tyler (Katie) Polkinghorn, Sioux City, IA, Nikki (Sam) Rumohr, Moville, IA, Heidi (Tyler) Flammang, Sioux City, IA, Kelsey (Sean) Mitchell, Omaha, NE; 6 grandchildren, Ryder and Sawyer Polkinghorn, Gunner and Lorelai Rumohr, Penelope Flammang, and Zion Mitchell; sister, Robyn (Lee) Hirst, Sioux City, IA; brother, Rob (JoAnn) Gotto, Sioux Center, IA; aunts: Jodi (Chuck)French, Lawton, IA, Sharon Fisher, Bronson, IA, Helen Book, Anthon, IA; uncles: Robert (Kim) Fisher, Sioux City, IA, Bill Gotto, Pierson, IA. 

She is preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, and 2 grandchildren lost by miscarriage. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Family Worship Center VBS program.

Leave a Comment