Martha Parks

2 entries
  • "I will never forget the 1st day I meet Ms. Martha. I had..."
    - Patrica Stevens
  • "So sorry for your loss Martha was an energetic and vibrant..."
    - Sue Bostic
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GASTONIA - Martha Elizabeth Ritchie Parks passed to her heavenly home on Monday, July 9, 2018 at the age of 95.

Born on October 26, 1922 in Charlotte, NC, Martha grew up in Huntersville in the country where she attended school and Hopewell Presbyterian Church. A devout Christian, she faithfully followed and spread the word of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ, her Lord and Saviour.

She was preceded in death by her husband Thomas Colson Parks in 2009 after 68 years of marriage. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Frank Ritchie and Minnie Ola

Mulwee Ritchie, her brothers Robert and John, and sisters Evelyn and Kathleen.

Martha and Tommy married in 1940 and moved to Gastonia after WWII where they raised a family and contributed to the community throughout their lives. Martha worked in Gaston County Schools for 20 years in food service, as a librarian, and as a secretary. She and Tommy volunteered at Gaston Memorial Hospital for decades, receiving the Gaston County Volunteer Recognition Award for family volunteers from the United Way in 1999. Martha also taught needy people how to read in her living room for years. She taught Sunday school and worked in her church her whole life; During her seventies, Martha earned a degree and became a certified Lay Minister, enabling her to serve as associate pastor where needed. Over the last 25 years she was a familiar face to many and met many new friends as she led a group of senior citizens walking for exercise around Eastridge Mall across the street from her home.

Martha blessed her children with motherly love and was always ready to help in any role as mom and grandmother. She is survived by her daughter, Dianne Parks Jarman of Gastonia; sons, John Parks of Kingston Springs, TN; Rick and wife Donna Parks of Durham; Lindsay and wife Joan Parks of Hillsborough; sisters, Betty Loggins of Chattanooga, TN and Nancy Moser of Concord; granddaughters, Elaine Nance of Charlotte, Amy Smith of Gastonia, Sarah Emily Parks of Oregon, and Jenna Elizabeth Parks of Durham; grandson, Roddy Smith of Gastonia; great-grandaughter Cecelia Lee Parks of Durham; Ava and Donald McGinnis of Rock Hill, SC; Linda Stevens of Huntersville; Bunny Russell of Sumpter, SC; and many other nieces and nephews.

A service to celebrate the life of Mrs. Parks will be held 1:00pm, Friday, July 13, 2108 at First ARP Church with Rev. Matt Kuiken officiating. A reception will follow the service in the fellowship hall.

A committal service will be held for the family at Gaston Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First ARP Church Mission Fund, 317 S. Chester St., Gastonia, NC 28052 or to Gaston Hospice, PO Box 3984, Gastonia, NC 28054.

Condolence messages and remembrances may be shared at

McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the family of Mrs. Parks.
Funeral Home
McLean Funeral Directors
700 South New Hope Road
Gastonia, NC 28054
(704) 865-3451
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Published in Gaston Gazette on July 11, 2018
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