Elizabeth Armstrong Parker passed away peacefully in Austin, Texas, on May 26, 2015, at the age of 78 after succumbing to Alzheimer's disease. |
Elizabeth "Liz" Armstrong and her twin sister, Lora, were born on May 17, 1937, to Ada "Jane" Dabney and Hervey "Pat" Armstrong in Wink, Texas. Liz, Lora and their beloved older brother, John, grew up in Van Horn, Texas, where John owned a shoe repair business. Liz graduated from Van Horn High School in 1955 and then attended Sul Ross State College in Alpine where she met her future husband, Doyle Erwin Stout of Dallas. Doyle, a southpaw pitcher for the semi-pro baseball team the Alpine Cowboys, and Liz married on Aug. 4, 1956, shortly before Doyle joined the United States Marine Corps. They had three children, Doyle Erwin Junior "DJ", John Edward, and Ted Eugene.
As a military family, Liz, Doyle and her three boys moved nearly every year and lived in California, Virginia, Massachusetts, Ohio, Texas and Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Liz was a devoted mother and a good cook. Her three growing boys would often fight over whatever dish she prepared. Liz was beautiful and a charming host at the parties and social events she organized in her role as a Marine officer's wife. She was friendly and easy going with a sweet disposition. Liz loved everyone she ever met and they loved her instantly.
In 1978 Liz moved to Big Spring, Texas, to be closer to her parents and her twin sister Lora. During this period, she attended the University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa, where she finished her college degree and obtained her teaching certificate in 1980. Liz then taught elementary school in Big Spring. She was an enthusiastic teacher who inspired her students and was loved by her fellow teachers. Liz was a voracious reader and often read every book on the bestseller list. On August 20, 1982, Liz married Aaron Leroy Collins in Big Spring. Aaron, who was a military veteran, passed away on April 18, 1985.
On Sept. 17, 1986, Liz married James Franklin "Frank" Parker of Bedford, Texas. Frank, a successful attorney and partner in his law firm, and Liz lived in Lubbock, Fort Worth, Big Spring, Bedford, Texas and Ruidoso, N.M. They also traveled the world together. The couple's wanderlust led them to China, Ireland, Paris, Scotland, England, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland and Costa Rica – their all-time favorite. Their shared love for adventure made Liz and Frank great traveling companions and Liz was legendary for making friends with everyone they encountered on their numerous sojourns. Frank loved Liz dearly and was an amazing partner throughout their entire marriage. He was particularly strong and selfless during Liz's devastating battle with Alzheimer's disease.
As identical twins, Liz and sister, Lora cherished their times together. They enjoyed long walks on Scenic Mountain in Big Spring and took frequent trips. Liz and Lora were so close they seemed to have their own language, often giggling and finishing one another's sentences. It was truly a special bond.
Liz is survived by her husband of 28 years, Frank; her sons, DJ (Lana) of Austin, Texas; John (Judy) of Ransom Canyon, Texas; Ted (Rose) of Picabo, Idaho; her five grandchildren, Patrick, Nicholas and Lucy of Austin, Texas, and Benjamin and Mariah of Picabo, Idaho; her twin sister, Lora Warren of Big Spring, Texas; her sister-in-law, Nelda (Marion) Carter of Garden City, Texas; her nephew, Lelan (Rhonda) Warren of Dallas, Texas; and her deceased nephew Gene Warren's widow, Diana, and their daughter Emily, of Fredericksburg, Texas.
Liz was preceded in death by her parents, Jane and Pat Armstrong and her brother, John Armstrong of Van Horn, Texas; her brother in-law, Douglas Warren; and her nephew, Gene Warren.
In lieu of a funeral and in honor of Liz's wishes, the family plans to convene to honor her quietly in her hometown of Van Horn, Texas, later this summer. Liz did not designate a charity, but the family suggests donations to Alzheimer's research in her memory.
Sweet Liz loved everyone and we all loved her back. We will miss her so much.
Our hearts are broken.
Published in Big Spring Herald on June 10, 2015