Jane Ann Youngerman Parker
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Jane Ann Youngerman Parker, 96, died May 3, 2012, peacefully in her sleep at her residence at Scottish Rite Park, nine days short of her 97th birthday.
Ms. Parker grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Smith College in 1937. On Christmas day, 1937, she married Addison M. Parker Jr., who, until his death in June of 2006, was her devoted admirer, best friend, and constant companion. Ms. Parker spent the next three years in Cambridge, Mass, where her husband attended Harvard Law School. During World War II, while her husband served in the Navy, Ms. Parker studied public health at Yale University and worked in venereal disease clinics in Washington D.C. The couple returned to Des Moines in 1947, and during the next four decades, Ms. Parker was active in civic affairs. At various times, she was President of the Iowa Children's Home Society, a member of the Governor's Advisory Committee on Social Welfare, and a board member of Broadlawns Hospital, the National Federation of Settlements and Neighborhood Centers, the Iowa Welfare Association, the Planned Parenthood Committee of Des Moines, the YWCA of Des Moines, and the Family Service Association of America. She was also a member of Proteus Club of Des Moines and the Junior League. She was a passionate advocate of civil rights and social justice and in the late 1960's and early 70's participated in demonstrations and marches advocating racial equality and opposing the Vietnam War. She also helped the Black Panther Party of Des Moines organize a breakfast program for children of low income Afro-American families. She loved literature, the arts, and political discourse. She enjoyed swimming and was a physical fitness buff, who was skiing in Colorado at age 78; an avid runner until her middle 70's; and subject of an April 30, 1978, portrayal in the Des Moines Sunday Register entitled "Jane Ann Parker is 63 going on 45." She loved dogs and raised seven golden retrievers along with her two sons. Her dogs reflected her kind and gentle disposition. In short, her well rounded life and relentless idealism provided her children and grandchildren an excellent example of "how to be".
She is survived by her sons, Addison M. Parker III of Waco, KY and Geoffrey Parker of Anchorage Alaska; daughter-in-law, Barbara Ann Dixon of Waco, KY; and grandchildren Laura Ann Parker Martin of Waco, KY and Geoff Parker of Lexington, Kentucky.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, 2012 at Plymouth Congregational Church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 434 West 33rd Street, New York, NY 10001, phone 212-541-7800; Iowa Legal Aid, 1111 9th Street, Suite 230, Des Moines, Iowa 50314-2527, phone 212-541-7800, or to a conservation or environmental defense fund of choice.
Published in Des Moines Register from May 24 to May 27, 2012