Longtime Soldotna resident Katherine K. Parker, 88, died Sunday, Nov. 11 at her home.
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Funeral services will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Soldotna Church of the Nazarene. Viewing will be from noon to service time on Saturday at the church. Pastor Bruce Hardesty will officiate. She will be laid to rest next to her husband, Charles Parker, in the Soldotna Community Memorial Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Parker Butzke, Christopher Wetmore, Peter Miccichi, Jon Butzke and David Chesney.
Katherine was born May 5, 1924 in Elgin, N.D. She received her Bachelor's of Science degree from the Northern State Teachers College in Aberdeen, S.D. She taught high school English and Business in Faith, S.D. in 1945. She then taught for brief stints in Coulee Dam, Wash. and Deadwood, S.D.
Katherine moved to Alaska in 1954. She was the school secretary in Palmer for Superintendant William Zahradnicek. She homesteaded in Soldotna with her husband in 1961. She was a freelance writer and also wrote for the Cheechako News until it closed in 1986.
Katherine was a longtime member of the church.
"Mom came to Alaska in 1954 looking for an adventure ... and potentially a husband ... and she found both," her daughter wrote. "She and my father homesteaded a 40-acre plot on the outskirts of Soldotna. After Dad passed away, Mom kept the Map Shop and enjoyed visiting with locals and visitors. She was active in the Soldotna Historical Society and enjoyed volunteering at the Visitor Center."
Her daughter continued: "Mom fought hard for the Soldotna Memorial Park and will be buried beside by Dad, who was reburied there from Kasilof this past September. Mom was all about community and giving back. The Soldotna Senior Center is located on land that was donated by my Mother and Father, as well as the land that makes up Parker Park, located beside the Senior Center. She was a fiercely independent woman with a pioneer heart. She was a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend to many. Her passing has left a hole that cannot be filled and she will be dearly missed."
Katherine was preceded in death by her husband and a daughter, Nancy.
She is survived by her daughter Patricia E. "Pattey" Parker, grandson Parker Butzke, granddaughter Katherine "Katey" Wetmore, all of Anchorage; brother John Kranick, of Great Falls, Mont.; and nephews Jim and John Kranick, Jr., both of Seattle, Wash.
Rather than flowers, the family prefers donations to the Soldotna Historical Society, P.O. Box 1986, Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai. Please visit her obituary and online guestbook at www.alaskanfuneral.com.
Published in The Peninsula Clarion on Nov. 15, 2012