Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Dr. Thomas Earl Polk
December 13, 1948 ~ November 22, 2023
74 Years Old
November 22, 2023 God claimed one of his own, Dr. Thomas E. Polk.
Thomas was born on December 13, 1948 to the late Lee Toy Polk and Rosie Lewis Polk in Grand Junction, TN.
His brother, Joe Frank Polk and sisters, Rubye J. Ruffin and Helen Messenger preceded him in death.
Dr. Thomas Polk confessed a hope in Jesus Christ, early in life, and joined the Hopewell M.B. Church in Grand Junction, TN. Other church affiliations included New Bethel M.B. Church in Bolivar, and Hillfield Baptist Church in Toone, TN. Also, he was a member of Bethlehem M.B. Church in Bolivar, TN and remained a member until his death. Thomas was a deacon and enjoyed singing on the choir, and served as chairperson of numerous church committees.
He attended elementary and high school in the Hardeman County School System. After graduation from high school, he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Lane College in Jackson, TN, a Master’s Degree in Education from Prairie View A & M University of Texas in Leadership and Special Education, an Education Specialist Degree from Union University in Education Leadership, and a Doctor of Education from the University of Houston in Leadership and Policy Studies.
Thomas was united in holy matrimony to his elementary, high school and college sweetheart, Mamie Griggs Polk, in February 1973. God blessed this union of fifty-one years with two loving sons, Bradford, and Brandon Polk.
Dr. Thomas Polk’s professional career enhanced the lives of many students and colleagues. Prior to his illness, he was serving as the Director of Transportation for the Hardeman County School System. Previously, he served as the Director of the Alternative School, Supervisor of Instruction, Assistant Principal, and Special Education Teacher in the Hardeman County School System.
Furthermore, he served as an Assistant Principal in the Memphis City School System in Memphis, TN. In addition, Thomas served as the Manager of Employee Relations and Safety for Tennco Oil Company in Houston, TX. After retiring from the company, he served as a Special Education Teacher in the Fort Bend County Independent School District In Houston, Texas. In the collegiate field, he has served as an Adjunct Professor at Lambuth University in Jackson, TN in the Education Department. He has received numerous awards. Some include Lane College Meritorious Award for Outstanding Achievement in Education, Assistant Principal Award from Memphis City School System, Board of Trustees, Nat T. Winston Developmental Center, and others.
Dr. Thomas Polk’s professional and community involvement in Hardeman County was impeccable. He was a Servant Leader in the county. Thomas participated in numerous civic and political organizations and activities. For example, he was an elected member of the Hardeman County Commission. Previously, he served as an elected Hardeman County School Board member. Also, he served on the Hardeman County Industrial Board for the City of Bolivar, the Hardeman County Re-Districting Board, and the Tennessee Foster Review Board, and others. In March 2023, he received the “Key to the City” of Bolivar for his support of the community. In addition, Thomas worked at the Dixie Funeral Home in Bolivar to assist with arrangements for bereaving families.
Dr. Thomas Polk was a Charter Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Nu Iota Sigma Chapter in Bolivar, TN. He was a member of the Hardeman County Tennessee State University and Lane College Alumni Associations, and a member of the Ancient Egyptian Order Nobles Mystic Shrine of North and South America and It’s Jurisdiction, Inc., AL UZZA # 169.
Dr. Thomas Polk leaves to cherish his memory and love of 51 years plus, a devoted and loving wife, Mamie Polk of Bolivar, TN, two sons: Bradford Polk of Bolivar, TN and Brandon Polk (Amy) of Medina, TN, three adoring grandchildren: Madison, Maddox, and McKenzie of Medina, TN, three brothers: Lee L. Polk (Elena) of Saginaw, MI, Robert Polk (Cleo) and Benny Polk (Ruth) of Bolivar, TN, One Sister: Shirley Dickerson (Luzon) of Bolivar, TN, four brother-in-laws: Luther Griggs, Jr. (Jean), Presley Griggs (Verna), Zackery Griggs and Darrell Griggs of Bolivar, TN, four sister-in-laws: Doris Polk of Seneca, SC, Elizabeth Boyd (Charles), Dr. Yvonne G. Allen, of Bolivar, TN and Diane Jeffries (Len) of Jackson, TN, one uncle: Willie Murphy of Bolivar, TN. Also, he leaves a multitude of loving nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and colleagues.