Althea O. (Polly) LOVITT

Obituary Condolences

Althea (Polly) O. LOVITT Polly died on December 12th af- ter a series of illnesses. She had been hospitalized a few days earlier at the Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland. She was an amazing woman. Polly was born on September 24, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois. Her family was there while her father, Theodore Owen, was working on his Ph. D. at the University of Chicago. She grew up in Emporia, Kansas where her father was an English professor at Emporia State University, and her mother, Alta Owen, was a music teacher in the public schools. Polly graduated from Roosevelt High School in Emporia in 1948. Throughout her high school years she was pals with a group of girls know as the Fifinellas (no idea what that means). To this day they have remained close friends and hold a reunion every other year in Emporia. Polly attended their last one in 2009. On graduation from high school she attended the University of Kansas where her major was music education. At the university she was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, sang in several choral groups, and dated her future husband (among others). She graduated in 1952. She married Tom Lovitt in 1952 and went with him to his various posts in the U.S. Air Force: San Antonio, Washington D.C., and Denver. After his discharge they moved to Overland Park, Kansas where she was a music teacher with the Roeland Park schools and Tom had a job with the Kansas City Philharmonic. While living in Overland Park Polly earned her master's degree in special education from the University of Kansas. Polly and Tom and their flock of children moved to Seattle in 1966 where she began teaching for the Shoreline School District and he with the University of Washington. They settled in a home in Kirkland and have been there ever since. Polly's first teaching assignment was in special education, and although she was good at it she was really a music teacher. She spent the remainder of her time in the district, until 1992, teaching music in elementary and middle schools. Many of her elementary music programs were classics. She wrote them all, none of this canned music stuff. And she loved middle school children-and was very good with them-an age that most folks can't stand. Polly loved to read. Before her illnesses she read a half dozen books every other week. She daily read the New York Times and solved their crossword puzzle in 15 to 20 minutes. She liked to sew and listen to music, and a few years ago she was seriously into genealogy. Polly could get along well in any social group. In this regard her daughter Kathy had this to say "She could talk to anyone from prisoners in a Mexican prison to carpenters and plumbers working in her home, to renown authors and musicians with such genuine interest in their lives that they felt and reciprocated her appreciation. She listened with a compassion that acknowledged their strengths and interests." Polly was a member of the Shoreline chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an honorary teachers' sorority, and the Assistance League of the Eastside. She was a member of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Redmond, and for a number of years their choir director and occasional organist. She is survived by her husband Tom of 58 years, four children (Kathleen in Tacoma, Mark and Bryan in Bothell, and Dan in Redmond), six grandchildren (Ashli, Charles, Laura, Carly, Rachel, and Rebekah), and five great-grandchildren (Tommy, Gracie, Arianna, Sophia, and Mikayla). Memorial service will be heldat the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 17371 Northeast 24th Street, Redmond at 2:00 p.m. on the 19th of December. Remembrances may be made to the Holy Trinity Anglican Church or the Salvation Army. Sign Polly's on-line Guest Book at
Published in The Seattle Times from Dec. 17 to Dec. 18, 2010
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