Photo of Valerie S. Polyniak

Valerie S. Polyniak (Val) grew up and attended elementary and middle schools in Brooklyn until transferring to and graduating from Martin Spalding High School in Severn. A high achiever in school, upon graduation she received two awards: ‘Highest Average Business Student’ and ‘Excellence in Business Education’.

Summers spent working full-time with McCully Funeral Home in Brooklyn; managing all clerical work and assisting in all visitations and services, led her to her chosen profession. After graduating from Maryland’s Mortuary Science College, she took State and National exams for licensing as a Mortician in October 1975 (she was the only woman to take exams) and then went on to become the youngest female funeral director in Maryland. She continued to for work McCully until she and her husband John purchased the business in 1994, which at the time were three locations: South Baltimore, Brooklyn and Pasadena, making it McCully-Polyniak Funeral Homes, P.A. Together, as best friends working side-by-side, they ran the business until John’s unexpected passing in 2018. 

Today, Val is the Owner/President/Supervising Mortician of McCully-Polyniak Funeral Home in Pasadena. The business will be 116 years old in the Spring. Started in 1904 by I. Few McCully, father of former owner, James McCully, Val’s uncle. The business is well-known for it’s support of local charitable causes and events.

She is a member of the Pasadena Business Association and a 2013 recipient of the YWCA's TWIN Award which recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of successful, professional women.

Val resides in the Lake Shore area of Pasadena where she attends Galilee Lutheran Church. She has two children, Scott and Julie. She enjoys gardening, sewing, watching the immense variety of birds in her yard as well as crocheting little hats for the newborns in our area hospitals.