SALTILLO – Blanche James Parker, 94, died Sunday, March 16, 2014, at Baldwyn Nursing Facility. She was a 1937 graduate of Saltillo High School, where she starred on the basketball team. She was valedictorian and recipent of the Balfour Award. She had a teaching certificate before graduating high school. She attended Mississippi State University. She was assistant manager for Sears & Roebuck in Tupelo. She married Ray Parker on April 11, 1942. She lived in various states until moving back to Saltillo in 1960. After the death of her husband she worked for Lee County Extension office for 15 years and most of that time she was manager of Pratt Senior Citizen Center. She was a lifetime member of First United Methodist Church of Saltillo. She was the children's Sunday school teacher, and a member of the Parsonage Committee and Pastor Parish Committee. She was the first female to serve on the Board of Trustees. She loved her home and working in her yard and garden. She enjoyed traveling and shopping with her daughter. She adored her grandson and great-grandson.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 19, at Saltillo United Methodist Church with Bro. Tim Green, the Rev. Jerry Ginn and Bill Gammill officiating. Burial will be in Lee Memorial Park. Kesler Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include a daughter, Nancy Nunley (Jack) of Saltillo; a grandson, Casey Tennison (Amanda) of Saltillo; a great-grandson, Parker Tennison; a special niece, Pat Beard of Saltillo; her best friend for 28 years, Thomas Taylor Lindley of Baldwyn; and a host of nieces, nephews and cousins.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ray Parker; her parents, Daniel and Nellie Hall James; two sisters, Olene Hall and Louise Bailey; and one grandaughter, Brandi Tennison.
Pallbearers will be Tom Smith, Billy Irwin, Max Stephens, Tommy Smith, Ronnie Dunaway and Smokey Freeman.
Visitation will be from 6 until 8 p.m. today at the church and from noon until service time Wednesday.
In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to Saltillo First United Methodist Church.