Home Obituaries OBITUARY: Virginia ‘Gennie’ Brooks Putnam

OBITUARY: Virginia ‘Gennie’ Brooks Putnam

DURHAM — Virginia Brooks Putnam (Gennie) of Durham, passed away Aug. 16, 2022 at the age of 81.

She was born to the late Leland and Thelma Brooks on March 20, 1941 in Hamlet.

Gennie graduated from Hamlet High School and later received her nursing degree from Hamlet Nursing School. She married the late Dr. Robert Polk (Bobby), also from Hamlet, in 1962 and eventually settled in Laurinburg, where they lived until 1990.

In 2004, Gennie reconnected with and married former high school friend (late) Richard Putnam of Hamlet.

Gennie is survived by her beloved three “boys”: Rob Polk (Sherry) of LaGrange, Georgia, Brooks Polk of Red Springs, and Brian Polk (Wendy) of Carrboro. She is also survived by six grandchildren: Emily and Robert Polk, Saige, Knox and Cullen Polk, and Emery Polk.

Gennie had a long career as a nurse in various capacities, and ultimately retired in 2003 from a career in nursing home inspections for the state of North Carolina. In addition to serving in the nursing field, Gennie gave much of her time to help establish the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, which opened in 1988.

Gennie had many hobbies and interests including cooking, decorating, birds and gardening. She volunteered at the boys’ schools and scouts and belonged to many service and social organizations. She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church Laurinburg.

Gennie was a gracious and open hostess; always welcoming all (friends, family, and pets!)to her home unreservedly. She just laughed when her grand-dog stole the leg right off the Thanksgiving turkey. She was generous and fierce and very funny.


Above all, Gennie loved her family; her parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, nieces and nephews. Her children and grandchildren meant more to her than anything, and she devoted her life to showing that love.

A service to celebrate Gennie’s life will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 at 1 p.m. at Harrington Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Ronald McDonald House, 101 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27517 or online at https://secure2.convio.net/chrmh/site/Donation.

Harrington Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the Putnam family.

Online condolences may be made at harringtonfuneralhome.com.

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