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Monique Baert Polk

June 21, 1929 –
 January 21, 2023

Obituary

Monique Baert Polk
June 21, 1929 – January 21, 2023

Monique Baert Polk, 93, arrived peacefully to her heavenly home on January 21 , 2023. She has joined her dear husband, William Polk, who preceded her in death on August 29, 2022. She is also preceded in death by four siblings… a sister Maria De Ruyck-Baert and brothers Paul, Marc and Rik Baert.

Monique is survived by her children – Susan Polk and Mike Churchill, Linda Polk Haslanger and Mark Haslanger, and Danielle Polk Running and Aaron Running; and her grandchildren: Anna, Amanda, Elizabeth, Evan, and Annika. She is also survived by her brothers Milo and Andre Baert, and her sister Agnes De Brabandere-Baert.

Monique was born in Tielt, Belgium to Joseph and Maria Baert-Vyncke. Times were very hard, as she grew up in Nazi occupied territory during World War II. In spite of the difficulties, she had fond memories of her seven siblings, and she helped her mother care for the younger children when her father was away in the resistance army.

While Monique loved Belgium, she had an opportunity to come to America, where she met Bill at a church dance. They married September 10, 1960 and they raised three daughters in Michigan. Monique was her daughters’ biggest fan, encouraging them in all that they did. She could be heard cheering them on at swim, basketball, track and gymnastics meets, and she heartily supported their artistic endeavors. Monique wanted to make sure to raise daughters who would be self-sufficient.

Monique was an excellent artist and several of her pieces are on display in the homes of her family and friends. She loved teaching her grandchildren to paint. She enjoyed taking walks in nature and encouraged us to “stop and smell the roses” by taking unexpected hikes on road trips.

Bill and Monique retired to Florida where they spent many years golfing and kept sharp by attending and occasionally giving educational presentations at the seniors’ academy at the local university. They subsequently moved to Texas to be close to family.

Monique was a loving wife and mother. She will be greatly missed by her children and grandchildren, one of whom wrote:

“I am lucky to have been loved by you my whole life, and I’m lucky to have gotten to love you for even just a quarter of yours. You taught me beauty in everyday things through color, flowers, and art. You taught appreciation of nature and have given me the most beautiful and peaceful place in the world to spend time. You taught me love of family through the one you created here, and have given us the gift of knowing our family in Belgium.

I got my stubbornness from you, but I think that can be good sometimes—to be strong and hold your ground. That childlike twinkle in your eye when you would smile or laugh, up to something sneaky or mischievous–I got that from you too. Each thing is a gift that made me who I am today.”

Finally, the family would like to express extreme gratitude and thanks to the staff and caregivers of Briarview Senior Living and Accord Hospice, particularly those “earth angels” who work in Memory Care, for their support and compassionate care during both Bill and Monique’s later years. We will miss you!

A memorial service for Monique and her husband Bill will take place this summer, and their ashes will be interred at the Evergreen Cemetery near their beloved cottage at Stony Lake, Michigan.

Memorial gifts can be made to :
Boyd Hill Nature Center – 1101 COUNTRY CLUB WAY S.
ST. PETERSBURG, FL 33705
Phone:(727) 893-7326
bhpreserve@stpete.org

Eckerd College (Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC))
– St. Petersburg, FL. https://www.eckerd.edu/aspec/giving/

Arrangements under the direction of:
Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas,Texas 75252
214-306-6700

8 Thoughts on Monique Baert Polk
    Monique Galasso
    24 Jan 2023
    4:09pm

    Sincere condolences to the family. Monique was my Godmother and I was named after her. I’m sure Uncle Bill was patiently waiting for her in heaven. May she rest in eternal peace.

    Denise Shelle
    24 Jan 2023
    4:22pm

    Dear Susie, Linda and Danielle – I am so sorry to hear that your Mom passed away. She and your Dad had a wonderful life together and raised three wonderful women.
    I have so many fond memories of visiting you all in Adrian. Dennis and I also visited your parents in St. Petersburg, FL.
    I am thinking of you during this sad time. I hope to attend their Memorial service this summer if it works out.
    Love, hugs and prayers,
    Denise

    Deb Agnew
    24 Jan 2023
    8:35pm

    Peace to all of you. They are both sitting in the presence of God today. Singing, dancing, painting, playing music, rejoicing – I look forward to the day I can talk to the two of them again. I have MANY fond memories from childhood – one was sitting next to your mom in a church service and her saying she would sit with me during communion – I did not know at the time she did not like taking public communion. She always made me feel welcome in the family and treated me as one of her own. Love and prayer for all of you

    Diana G
    26 Jan 2023
    10:11pm

    What a sweet lady that I am honored to have known for a short time. You will be missed, Monique. Happy trails to you and your dear Bill. My condolences for you Susie, Linda, and Danielle.

      Helen Luther
      27 Jan 2023
      3:49pm

      I concur with what Denise said. So many memories in Adrian. Did your Dad play music back then? I don’t remember if he did. Your mom was born on the Solstice. May your memories live on. All 3 of your girls were wonderful daughters to your parents. What a long life they had. Blessings

    Myriam Baert
    28 Jan 2023
    6:17am

    Dear Suzy, Linda, Danielle,
    Our depest sympathy by the passing away of ‘tante Monique’.
    We believe that she is now in heaven with your father, her beloved husband uncle Bill. Such a golden couple could not be a long-time without each other. Now they are reuned. Perhaps also with our dear father, uncle Paul.
    You will miss them both a very long time. By all means you are also thankful for their happy long life.
    You have to cherish the many recollections in your hearts and tell a lot about them when you are together. That will comfort your sadness.
    We wish you lots of strenght in this time of mourning.
    “May God hold them in the palm of his hand”.
    Many greetings from Myriam en Luc Kint- Baert

    Bea Baert
    29 Jan 2023
    4:41am

    Dear family, I’m very saddened at the passing of our ‘tante in Amerika’. She was a kind, intelligent women. She had artistic talents and could paint beatifully. She was very proud on the ‘Vlaamse primitieven’; the flemisch painters of the 15 th, 16 th century.
    I had the privilege of vacation twice with aunt Monique and uncle Bill. My father Paul, went with us. He was very fond of his sister. We were very well received there and I have many memories of staying wit them. The passing of both of your parents will be a great loss for you, but now they are back together. I wish yo much courage during te mourning period. Many greetings from Bea en Danny Dhooghe-Baert

    Bernard and Theda
    30 Jan 2023
    3:32pm

    Dear Suzy, Linda and Daniëlle,

    Aunt Agnes called me to tell us the sad news of Aunt Monique’s passing. We remember her as an intelligent, open-minded and cordial woman with a remnant of West-Flemish stubbornness.

    Theda and I remember the great hospitality of your parents during our stay in the US, now more than 10 years ago. These days will always have a special place in our memories.
    Your mother and father were so attached to each other . It must be difficult to all of you to loose both of your parents in such a short time.

    Wishing you a lot of strength.

    Bernard and Theda

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