Eugen F. Polka
Eugen (Gene) Polka, 80, of Kansas City, Missouri, lost his battle with cancer on July 7, 2012 at the Kansas City Hospice House. He is survived by his wife, Ann (Joann Repp) of Kansas City, daughter Elizabeth Garvin and family of Denver, son James Polka and family of Raleigh, sisters Gina Sheppard and Mela Doerfer, and sister-in-law Erika Polka, along with their families. A celebration of Gene’s life will be held in Bull Shoals, Arkansas, in the spring – fly rods are encouraged. Donations to the Kansas City Hospice House are requested in-lieu of flowers.
Born in Melrose Park, Illinois, in 1932, Gene spent his early years in Erfurt, Germany, along with his parents, two sisters, and brother Martin. After returning to the states, he grew-up in the Chicago area. Gene served in the U.S. Army as an intelligence officer during the Korean War. Post-war, he attended the University of Illinois, majoring in chemical engineering, after which he spent most of his career in the plastics manufacturing industry. He married Ann, of Tiffin, Ohio, in 1963 and following the adoption of their two children, Gene’s work moved them across the country on numerous occasions. They lived in the Kansas City area in the early 1980s and retired back to KC in 2001. During his retirement, Gene enjoyed fly fishing, hunting, Royals baseball, and spending time with his grandchildren. To the amusement of his family, he also puttered around the kitchen, pronouncing his recipes as having been “passed down from generation to generation and approved by the crowned heads of Europe.” He will be greatly missed.