Recently, Evelyn Polk Green, a dear member of the ADDA family and past ADDA president who has served the ADHD community with great dedication, celebrated the full, vibrant, and tenacious life of her mother who passed away at the blessed age of 93.
Our warm wishes are with the Green family at this time, and always.
Evelyn Virginia Farmer
Evelyn Virginia Farmer was born on May 1, 1923 in Grant Town, West Virginia. She was one of six siblings born to Frank and Ruth Booker Farmer, who both preceded her in death.
After graduating from Washington High School, Evelyn planned to attend college to become a teacher, but the Great Depression and WWII interrupted her plans. During the War, she became a real-life “Rosie the Riveter,” building planes on a factory line and saving her earnings and summers for school. By age 25, she earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Bluefield College in 1946. She began her career teaching in a rural one-room schoolhouse and moved on to teaching positions in West Virginia, Virginia and Ohio.
Her family joined the Great Migration (a time when Blacks moved west and north to escape Jim Crow) and settled in Chicago in the late Fifties. Always independent, especially for a Black woman at that time, she continued to support her extended family, eventually teaching the in the Chicago Public School system.
Once in Chicago, she met Joel Phelps Polk and they were married in 1960, followed closely by the birth of their two children over the next three years. While they didn’t remain married, they did remain friends and took care of each other and their children until Joe’s death in 1978.
Evelyn continued her journey towards educational and economic empowerment as a single parent, teaching at Betsy Ross Elementary School while working towards her master’s degree from Governor’s State University. She spent the last few years of her nearly 45-year career teaching preschoolers at Francis Parkman School, retiring from CPS in 1992.
Evelyn was a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. as well as the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. educational organization.
Mrs. Polk never rested until everyone was taken care of and she was constantly thinking of ways to support others — even if it sometimes came at her own expense. She dished out love and tough advice and rarely pulled punches about what she thought. She pushed everyone around her to value and pursue new learning opportunities and to work through the toughest of times on the way to success.
Evelyn is survived by daughter Evelyn Green, son Joel S. Polk, both of Chicago, and two grandchildren, Perry W. Green, III and Robert Jordan Green. She is also survived by a host of nieces, nephews and cousins, many of whom she cared for during her life.
As generous in death as she was in life, Evelyn donated her remains to science and medical education.
In Memoriam Donations
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Evelyn Virginia Farmer be made to ADDA.