In Loving Memory of Deborah Polee
April 9, 1960 - February 27, 2020
Deborah Renee Polee entered this world on April 9, 1960, and couldnāt wait to be heard. Deborah was the third of four daughters born to the late Willnett and Jack Polee Jr. in the Jordan Downs in Watts, California. At an early age, Deborah accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and was baptized at Beulah Baptist Church. As a child, Deborah attended 102st School, 96th Russell, and then Charles R. Drew Junior High. After the family moved, she continued her education at Lynwood High School, where she graduated in 1978.
Deborah, or "Polee," as known by her coworkers, began working for the Los Angeles Department of Social Services on May 15, 1979. From day one, she was an advocate for change in the Department and a voice that the Department would have to reckon with more than once. Polee was a firm believer in being present within her community, giving back no matter the costs, and fighting for justice wherever she saw injustice. For forty-plus years, Polee serviced the public and the community as an employee of the County of Los Angeles. She often went above and beyond what was expected of her. Polee always found time to be the voice for those without a voice for her co-workers, and as a Steward, she never stopped fighting to promote equality in the workplace for herself and other employees.
Deborah was selfless and tireless. While working for DPSS, she started a decorating and event planning business with her sister Lena. She became an active member of the African American Caucus, was an SEIU Local 721 Union Representative, managed apartments, volunteered at the voting polls, presided over the Home Association in Compton California, advocated for the Deaf community, feed the homeless, coached Softball/Tee-ball with her sister at Lynwood Park, coached youth basketball with her daughter at Harbor City Park, and volunteered at Jesse Owens Park for the football youth with friends.
Deborah married Ronnie Crockett, and of that union, two beautiful and devoted daughters were conceived; Victoria and Willnett Crockett. She always opened her home and heart to anyone who was in need and would later raise Joseph Bunkley as her own. Deborah made sure to teach them the value of hard work, the power of prayer, and instilled a love for Christ to take wherever they traveled. Wherever she traveled, whether near or far, she was always her children's loudest cheerleader at games and sporting events.
Whether you knew her as "Polee," "Aunt D," "Sister-Cousin," "Sister-Friend" or just Deborah, in both her personal and professional life, she was a truly thoughtful and generous woman who cared deeply and unselfishly gave of herself for family and friends. Deborah had a presence (aura) about her that radiated in any setting she found herself in, and wherever Deborah was, that was where you wanted to be. She was a loving spirit and had the gift to impart her spiritual wisdom while ministering to the heart of everyone whom she met. She never met a stranger because everyone she met, she made sure they felt loved through her words, prayers, smile, and infectious laugh. She was truthfully one of a kind!
She enjoyed cooking, doing hair, listening to gospel music, calling/texting words of encouragement, traveling to be with her kids, spending time with family, decorating/event planning and entertaining others in her home while continuing the family tradition of gathering each year for Christmas. She truly enjoyed life.
On February 27, 2020, God called Deborah to her heavenly home. She was preceded in death by her mother; Willnett Gregory-Yorke, sister; Darlene Polee-Hammonds, nephew; Johndell Montgomery. She leaves behind to cherish her memories and never to forget her love; her husband, children; Victoria and Willnett; and a host of family, loved ones, and friends who became family that loved her dearly.
She will truly, wholeheartedly, without a doubt, be missed.