Emily Light Rose

Artist, Activist

Emily Light Rose, 67, an artist, filmmaker and activist, died of breast cancer Oct. 21 at her home in Washington.

Ms. Rose, an abstract expressionist painter, often had works on display at area galleries, and in May, Gallery 10 in Dupont Circle had an exhibition of her work called "Swimming Against the Current." Using different textures and materials, she addressed international social issues in paint, wood, stone and film.

"She was a cultural event in and of herself," said her daughter, Leslie Rose of Washington. In her loft on Johnson Avenue NW, she hosted many parties that drew such celebrities as Jesse Jackson, Pete Seeger and Martha Graham and her dance company, her daughter said. "Her own artist soul touched people like this."

Ms. Rose was a board member of the Institute for Policy Studies in the 1990s and made a documentary film on famine in Sudan. She worked on another about Cuba, "The Uncompromising Revolution" (1988). She was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and had appeared as an extra in several Hollywood movies, including "Species II" and "Gardens of Stone."

She received a cancer diagnosis in spring 2004, but after chemotherapy treatments, she traveled to Bhutan. After radiation, she went to India. On the way home from Prague, she had a seizure, the first indication that the cancer had metastasized to her brain.

A longtime friend, David Tenney, called her vivacious, with a spectacular wit. "She was highly opinionated, and that truly was part of her charm," he said. "She never backed down on any issue. . . . She was smart, funny and played a wonderful game of Scrabble."

Ms. Rose was born in Lebanon, Pa., and attended Penn Hall Junior College, Penn State University, Maryland Institute College of Art and Corcoran College of Art and Design.

She lived in Baltimore, San Francisco and Los Angeles and in 1970 moved to Columbia. She subsequently lived in Washington.

She enjoyed Dewey Beach, Del., world travel and tennis.

Her marriage to Samuel G. Rose ended in divorce.

Survivors, in addition to her daughter, include a son, Michael Rose of Silver Spring; and two grandchildren.

Evelyn Howley Polk

D.C. Teacher

Evelyn Marguerite Howley Polk, 92, a Washington native who taught in the D.C. school system for many years, died Sept. 27 of pneumonia at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. She was a longtime resident of the Shepherd Park neighborhood of Northwest Washington.

Mrs. Polk was a graduate of Dunbar Senior High School. She was a member of the first graduating class of the District's old Miner Teachers College, receiving a bachelor's degree in primary education in 1933.

She began her career in the D.C. public school system teaching first grade at Briggs Elementary School in 1934. Later, she was at James G. Birney Elementary School and Bancroft Elementary School. In 1947, she received a master's degree in early childhood education and administration from New York University.

After 30 years of classroom teaching, Mrs. Polk became project coordinator for the D.C. government's Head Start program, supervising the Florida Avenue Preschool and the Salvation Army Preschool. She retired from the school system in 1970 after having served more than 35 years.

Mrs. Polk was a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church in Washington for 25 years, during which she served as a Sunday school teacher and a deaconess. In 1985, she rejoined the church in which she had been raised, the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church. She taught at its school and assisted in the annual Lenten season program.

She was a member of the Phi Delta Kappa sorority, National Education Association, NAACP, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Anacostia Historical Society, D.C. Retired Teachers Association and National Museum of Women in the Arts.

She was a 46-year member of the J.B. Social Club and enjoyed gardening, sewing, china painting, theater and reading. She traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, visiting more than 20 countries.

Her husband of 43 years, Harry Earle Polk Sr., died in 1984.

Survivors include her son, Harry Earle Polk Jr. of Washington.

Gail Hodges Carroll

IRS Ombudsman

Gail Hodges Carroll, 66, an employees ombudsman for the Internal Revenue Service, died Sept. 27 of liver and kidney failure at Reston Hospital Center. She lived in Arlington.

Mrs. Carroll was born in Washington and graduated from George Mason High School in Falls Church when she was 15. She was president of her class, captain of her basketball team and a member of the National Honor Society.

After graduating from American University at 19, she became the personal assistant to the president of the National Geographic Society, Melville Bell Grosvenor. She worked at the Geographic for 11 years, interrupting her tenure for 18 months to live in Calcutta, where her husband was conducting research.

In the early 1970s, Mrs. Carroll managed a store selling imported native crafts in downtown Washington. She traveled widely in Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America to acquire items for the store.

During the 1980s, she was an executive with Conversions Inc., a company that converted thousands of apartments in the Washington-Baltimore area into condominiums. In 1991, she joined the IRS as an employee advocate, or ombudsman, a position she held until her death.

Her interests included travel, the arts and gourmet cooking.

Her son, Park Carroll, died in 1995.

Survivors include her husband of 48 years, Dr. R. Lynn Carroll of Arlington; a daughter, Alena Carroll Starr of Burke; and three brothers.

Emily Light Rose