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