MCKINNEY - Mary Ellen Parks, age 87, of Melissa, Texas, passed away on April 11, 2014 in McKinney, Texas. She was born October 26, 1926 to George Marion and Tennessee "Tennie" (Southerland) Spillers in Sherman, Texas.|
Mary was a member of Altoga Baptist Church. Mary Ellen was born in a home in the Pottsboro area, as her brothers picked cotton in a field just outside of the home. As her brother Marvin approached the house at the end of the work day, he remarked he heard a kitten in the house. To his surprise, the kitten turned out to be his new baby sister Mary Ellen.
Mary Ellen's favorite holiday was Christmas. As a child, her family did not have money to spend on presents, so Mary Ellen's two brothers creatively made sure she always had something under the Christmas tree. Her favorite childhood Christmas memory was the year her brother Paul used scrap bicycle parts he found in various places to make her a bicycle.
Mary Ellen's brother Marvin introduced her to the love of her life Doyle Parks, and in 1945 they were married. They loved their three children beyond measure, and they absolutely adored their eight grandchildren. Mema and Pepa, as they became known, played an integral part in the lives of their grandchildren.
For decades, the family spent Sunday afternoons together at Mema and Pepa's home eating lunch and catching up on weekly life events. More often than not, in addition to feeding, the family also included each Sunday many friends of the grandchildren. Mema cooked for everyone on those Sundays, even when numbers to feed rose into the 20's or 30's. Memories of these Sunday gatherings will forever be cherished by the family.
She is survived by her two daughters, Peggy Cottle and her husband Pat of Melissa, Texas, Judy Tait and husband Tommy of Krum, Texas; son, Ronald Parks of Anna, Texas; grandchildren, Tamara Cottle and life partner Ivonda McCartney of McKinney, Texas, Vance Cottle and wife Anna of Melissa, Texas, Shellie Tait and partner Krissy Caraway of Keller, Texas, Trynna Roberts and husband Trip of Krum, Texas, Jon Tait and wife Amanda of Burleson, Texas, Shanon Parks and wife Amber of Denton, Texas, Tennille Mack and husband Jeremy of Denton, Texas, and Dustin Parks of Anna, Texas; thirteen great-grandchildren and a host of other loving family members.
Mary was preceded in death by her husband Doyle "Pepa" Parks; parents, George and Tennie Spillers; sister, Thelma Leverett; and two brothers Paul Spillers and Marvin Spillers.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt appreciation and loving gratitude to the staff of Park Manor of McKinney, where Mema made her last memories and our family gathered to celebrate special occasions with her.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, April 16 at 10 a.m. at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Chapel in Allen, Texas. The family will receive friends during a visitation being held Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home in Allen, Texas. Interment will follow at Melissa Cemetery in Melissa, Texas.
Published in The Herald Democrat from Apr. 15 to Apr. 16, 2014