Remembering Neva “Sam” Topolski “Mimi”
On May 25, 2023, Neva “Sam” Topolski, beloved wife, mother, Mimi, sister and friend, was called home by her Lord at the age of 60.
Neva was born on October 24, 1962 at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nevada to Jack and Ruth Child. The family eventually moved to Tacoma to be near family. She attended Ford Middle School and Franklin Pierce High School with sisters Vicki and Kathi. (Her mom Ruth was also a Franklin Pierce grad.) Neva was honored to be selected as the Franklin Pierce Daffodil Princess in 1981 and enjoyed attending yearly Daffodil events. It was in high school that Neva met Jillian Bates, her lifelong best friend. They regularly supported each other throughout major life events. In addition to raising their children together and vacationing together, they did many half marathons, visited local zoos, children’s museums, theater productions, and baking. In recent years they backpacked and camped together.
In 1985 she came to know Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and met Brian while working together. They were married six months later on January 31, 1986 at the Seymour Conservatory (you may remember their infamous post-it-note invitations). Neva often joked that Brian fell in love with 1 year old Meghann first, and he was blessed to adopt her later that year. They welcomed 3 additional children Holly, Peter and Christopher over the next 6 years.
The family moved to University Place in 1990, close to Sunset Bible Church which she loved and attended faithfully for many years before joining First Baptist Church and eventually returned to Sunset. She met many close and dear friends at these churches. Those relationships and her walk with the Lord shaped her life. She played co-ed church league softball every summer for many years for both Sunset and First Baptist, was involved in youth groups, did the annual church camping trip, and was active in several other ministries.
Neva was a dedicated stay at home mom for over ten years before going back to work part-time at Natural Wonders, followed by 21 years at the University of Puget Sound. She loved her position as Administrative Assistant for the Physics Department and loved getting to know and supporting many professors. She developed many relationships across campus during her daily mail runs and trips to the Sub, she truly was a friend to everyone she met. Working at UPS enabled all four kids to graduate college.
Neva loved her family deeply. When you said, “I love you”, she replied “I love you more” and it was true. Those who knew her well will remember her as a kind, compassionate, intelligent, adventurous, funny, selfless, a lifelong learner and a lover of Jeopardy, Shakespeare and Disney. But more than that she loved Jesus and her family, especially her four grandchildren.
Neva will be missed by her husband, Brian, children: Meghann Edwards (Wesley), Holly Topolski, Peter Topolski (Kelsey) and Christopher Topolski (Danielle); and her grandchildren Gwyneth, Obadiah, Beatrix and Minka, her sister Vicki Beyer (Joe) and brother-in-law Rick Baldwin, her nieces Gabrielle Pierce (Kyle), Joy Hill (Lamont) and Haley Beyer. Also in Milwaukee, sisters-in-law Darice Topolski (Gerry) and Karen Zakszewski (Mark) and brother-in-law Gary Topolski (Ginny). She was preceded in death by her mother Ruth Child in 2022 and her sister Kathi Baldwin in 2021. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Heritage Christian School, University Place, or Cor Deo School Tacoma, or Sunset Bible Church or Providence Hospice Seattle. Thank You.
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