Rhonda Polk

Published 2:36 pm Thursday, June 22, 2017

Rhonda Kennedy Polk, 67, of Columbia, Miss., died peacefully on Saturday, June 17, 2017, at Memorial Hospital in Gulfport, Miss.

Born in Bogalusa, she was the firstborn of Henry Hershel and Sue Pace Kennedy and the first place winner of the 1951 Washington Parish Fair Baby Contest. She was educated in the Washington Parish School System and an active member of Angie Baptist Church through her participation in Sunday School and GAs. She was the 1965 Washington Parish Fair Queen and was a player on the 1968 Washington Parish basketball championship team.

She attended Southeastern Louisiana University and was a member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority. After college, she was the Louisiana State Coordinator for Jerry’s Kids/Muscular Dystrophy Association.

She was a loyal wife, loving mother, and grandmother over the course of her 40-year marriage to Lee Anthony (Tony) Polk. She was a Brownie and Cub Scout leader, a basketball coach, and a Sunday school teacher. She had a natural talent for interior design, as expressed through several Orange Beach/Gulf Shores condominiums. Her accomplishments during her adult life were in spite of health conditions associated with multiple sclerosis (MS). She was an inspiration to her close family and friends who were aware of her MS condition.

She is survived by her husband, Lee Anthony (Tony) Polk of Columbia; two sons, Lee Anthony “Andy” Polk Jr. (Ramie), Jeffrey Kennedy Polk, and one daughter, Theresa Polk Roberts (Michael); four grandchildren, Dylan Avery Polk, Lindsay Michelle Roberts, Nicole Roberts Miyata (George), and Kayleigh Addison Polk; 11 nephews and nieces; and 14 great-nephews and great-nieces.

She is survived by her father, Henry Hershel Kennedy; siblings, Reginald Lee “Reggie” Kennedy (Melanie), Rhoda Kristie Kennedy; and she was like a sister to cousins, Daniel Charles “Danny” Cibic, William Carl “Billy” Leggett and Jacqueline “Jackie” Pace.

She is preceded in death by her mother, Sue Pace Kennedy.

The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations made in her name to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (www.nationalmssociety.org) or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org).

Hathorn Funeral Home of Columbia is in charge of arrangements (601-731-2000). Friends and family may sign the guestbook online at www.hathornfuneralhome.com.