Edith Margaret Parker of Bozeman passed away on Feb. 10, 2015 after a few months of declining health. She was ninety-four years old.
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"Margie" as her family called her, was born to Edwin and Annie Knipfer in a homestead ranch house in Knobs, Montana. She was the oldest of three children and grew up learning to ride a horse, tend cattle, and make do in hard times. She was educated in one-room schoolhouses and at Baker High School, where one of her teachers was a handsome young man named John Parker. They would wed in 1940, just before Dad, now a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, reported for duty. She accompanied him to Army bases in the South and Southwest where their first son, John Edwin was born in Austin, Texas in 1943. Mom and Johnnie returned to Bozeman when Dad shipped out to the Philippines and were there waiting for him at the end of the war. Son, Phillip came along in 1948.
Dad became a member of the English Department at Montana State and they spent a year in Seattle, Washington, where Dad worked on his PhD dissertation and Mom worked as a secretary for the Campfire Girls organization. Back in Bozeman, Dad embarked on his academic career and Mom landed a job as Secretary for the Chemical Engineering Department. She kept the department's affairs in order and acted as a substitute Mom for students as close as her own family and as far away as India and Japan. She also typed dissertations for graduate students, adding the editorial polish needed back before spell checkers and grammar analyzers.
In 1964, Dad was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to teach English at the University of Damascus, Syria. Mom, Dad and Phillip toured through Europe and on to the Middle East in a very broadening and educational year.
Mom and Dad were fully retired in 1974 and moved to the Woodbrook West community where they made many good friends. Following Dad's passing in 1999, Mom moved to the Aspen Pointe and Birchwood Facility for her final years.
She loved to play Bridge and was in various clubs and foursomes into her nineties. She brought an analytical mind and a distinctive laugh to the game. She read voraciously, favoring Montana writers and histories of the British Isles. She could recite a wide range of poetry from memory.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, John, and sister, Helen. She is survived by her son, John and daughter-in-law Kathryn of Anacortes, Washington; son, Phillip of Columbia, Maryland; brother, Robert of Bozeman; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and eleven nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the staff at Birchwood and Rocky Mountain Hospice for their conscientious and compassionate care during Mom's final days.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Rocky Mountain Hospice, 301 Edelweiss Drive, Suite 6, Bozeman, MT 59718 or The John P. Parker Memorial Scholarship for Excellence in English, c/o The Montana State University Foundation, ATTN: Sandy Rummel, P0 Box 172750, Bozeman, MT, 59717.
Services will be held later this summer.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service. www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Feb. 12, 2015