Mercedes Hastings Parks
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Mar. 27, 1930-Sept. 7, 2012
It is with great sadness that I write to let you know of the passing of Mercedes Hastings Parks, known to many students and friends as "Gramma."
Mercedes and her husband, Mack, who predeceased her, lived in Whittier for nearly 50 years. She graduated from Whittier College with a BA and a speech credential, returning 30 years later to earn her Masters. She taught all her life in Los Nietos (Wallace Wiggins, Aeolian and Nelson) and served as a Principal for her last 10 years in the district.
Most recently, the last 15 years, Mercedes led a happy and fulfilling life in Pacific Palisades, CA where she lived next door to her daughter, Donnalisa Parks Barnum, her husband Bill and 3 of her 5 grandchildren, Michael, Christopher and Kellie. She drove the children in an SUV to sports practice and games until they entered college. Christopher played basketball at Stanford and Kellie plays volleyball at Boston College.
She is also survived by her son, Jeff Parks, his wife Jackie and two grandsons, Cody and Matthew Parks of Carlsbad, CA. She visited them frequently and was an avid fan at their baseball and soccer games as well as participating in the lives of the many friends she made on visits there.
Mercedes loved family, teaching her community and her many friends. She was known for her sense of humor and boundless energy and enthusiasm. She was an active member of the Whittier Kiwanis and continued participating in her beloved Delta Kappa Gamma group of whose members she was extremely fond.
Mercedes passed away at Saint John's Hospital in Santa Monica surrounded by the family who loved her deeply. She recently had a successful back surgery where it was discovered she had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She passed away two weeks later.
To celebrate Mercedes Parks' life, friends are invited and encouraged to attend a graveside service at Rose Hills Memorial Park at 11:00 AM and/or a Memorial Service at St. Matthews Parish Church in Pacific Palisades at 3 PM, followed by a reception at the home of her daughter, Donnalisa Parks Barnum. Both will be held this Saturday, September 15, 2012.
Published in Whittier Daily News on Sept. 14, 2012