Polk, Vera Mae
Polk, Vera Mae
September 17, 1923 — January 10, 2022
Vera Mae was born September 17, 1923 to Ollis Ross and Victory (Queen Victoria) Carpenter, in Coatopa, Alabama. Her parents, husband of 63 years A.J. Sr., two sons, Herman and A.J. Polk Jr., eight brothers, and two sisters preceded her in death.
Vera Mae was raised by her grandmother Mamie Carpenter. In 1937, at the age of fourteen, she accepted Christ at the Pine Top Baptist Church in Coatopa, Alabama. Vera’s early education was in Coatopa, but she graduated in 1944 from U.S. Jones High School in Demopolis, Alabama.
Vera met A.J. Polk Sr. and they were married on August 31, 1945. To this union four children were born: Thomas, Arthur, Dianne, and Herman. A.J. traveled to Kansas City, Missouri for employment in 1951 and Vera and the children arrived a few months later. In April of 1952 she united with the Friendship Baptist Church, where the Rev. I.H. Henderson Jr. was the pastor. She was active in Sunday School, WMU Sarah Circle, Kitchen Ministry, Historical Ministry, supervised the health unit and the senior adult ministry. Vera enjoyed attending prayer meeting and bible study on Wednesdays. She attended several workshops for the New Era District of Congress and National Baptist Convention, USA Inc.
Vera received her LPN license from The Florence Cook School of nursing at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She worked four decades in the nursing field. Vera was a member of the National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses, Inc. Vera was a leader in the state delegation to Washington, D.C., where they lobbied Senator Bob Dole for improvements in Medicare. Vera was active in her community. She volunteered at the Minute Circle Friendly House. There she became a board member. She was the tenacious President of the 24th Street Block Club (1977-2001), chairman of the 23rd Street PAC Planning Committee. On August 30, 2001 Vera received a resolution from Mayor Kay Barnes, recognizing her for 49 years of community service.
After spending almost 50 years in Kansas City, she and A.J. settled and became residents at the Leisure World Retirement Complex in Seal Beach, California. Vera became active in the African-American Club, served 2 years as president of The Multi-Cultural Club and was part of the 50th anniversary planning committee. Vera and A.J. united with Christ Second Baptist Church in Long Beach, CA in 2002, Rev. Michael Ealy was the pastor. They both became members of Sunday School, Senior Adults and Vera was coordinator of the Historical Committee. She helped facilitate getting a history book made for the church’s 100 year anniversary in 2007.
Throughout their 63 years together they loved traveling. Their travels have sent them to nearly all 50 states, attending conventions, graduations, weddings, family reunions, and vacations. Their favorite places were Alaska and Hawaii. At the age of ninety-one Vera traveled to Ghana, West Africa with her sons, Thomas and Arthur. Her last trip was to Washington, D.C. to tour The National Museum of African American History and Culture in September of 2017.
Vera was an excellent cook, who loved sewing and was a milliner. Vera enjoyed watching the K.C. Chiefs, sharing the same birthday as Patrick Mahomes.
Vera leaves to celebrate her life memories, sons Thomas Polk, Long Beach, CA, Arthur Polk (Rahel), Kendall Park, NJ. Daughters Dianne Jeffery, Seal Beach, CA and Leatha Banks, Webb, MS. Five Sisters: Dorothy Dickson and Eleanor Hurtt-Johnson, Detroit, MI, Mary Ross-Cunningham, Mary Alice Hill, Gloria J. Rice, all of Waukegan, IL. Four Brothers: Eugene Ross and Forest Ross, Detroit MI, Jame Ross (Eliza), Brooklyn, NY, and Lorenza Ross (Jennifer) Waukegan, IL. Grandchildren: Troyce Polk, Roger Heggie II, Jeanette Freeman, Engedaye Polk, and Tewodros Polk. Great-grandchildren; Danyelle Heggie, Rashad Thornton, Alexya Heggie-Estes, Kambree Polk, and Kyleigh Polk. Great-great granddaughter Kaydence Miller. Also left to cherish her memory is a host of nieces, nephews, and other family members. Two close friends Betsy Brown and pecan pie loving friend Rosie Calhoun.
Vera passed away January 10, 2022. Visitation will be 10AM, with services to follow at 11AM, Saturday, February 5 at Friendship Baptist Church, 3530 Chelsea, Kansas City, Missouri; burial in Memorial Park Cemetery.
Visitation will be 10AM, with services to follow at 11AM, Saturday, February 5 at Friendship Baptist Church, 3530 Chelsea, Kansas City, Missouri; burial in Memorial Park Cemetery.