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  • "Dear Brenda and Tom, Much love to you in this time of..."
    - Merrie Hedrick
  • "To the family of Mrs. Parks -- I am so saddened to hear of..."
  • " To the family of Mrs. Marie Parks: Just wanted to send..."
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SWANNANOA -- Marie Louise Stephens Parks, 96, "Miss Wilmington, 1933" peacefully passed away November 11, 2012, at Trinity Grove where she had lived for the past year.

A 1933 graduate of New Hanover High School, Marie was crowned "Miss Wilmington" at Thalian Hall that same year. Ironically, she lived on Castle Street at the time. Born in Raleigh in 1915 to Annie Maude and Hugh Stephens, Marie's family moved frequently and she called Raleigh, Cary, Selma, Winthrop and Wilmington home. After attending High Point College for a year, she moved to Asheville in 1939 to work as a secretary, where she met "Jimmy" Parks from Swannanoa, who she married in 1942. They had one child, Brenda Cheryl, and Marie was quite active in the community - particularly known for teaching piano to area children.

Marie will be remembered for her spirit, her smile and love of life, her love of travel and meeting new people, and enjoying her many friends of all ages.

She will be greatly missed by her daughter, Brenda Cheryl Parks Hughes and her husband, Tom Hughes, of Wilmington; her sister-in-law, Mary Frances Stephens, of Black Mountain; her namesake, Marie Yarborough Cooper of Hendersonville; many nieces, nephews and her beloved dog, Stevie. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; three brothers, Victor, Hugh and Ozier Gray Stephens; and three sisters, Thelma Yarborough, Alice Stone and Ila Bomberger.

A memorial service will be held at Trinity Grove on Wednesday, November 21st at 11:00 am. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Swannanoa, PO Box 216, Swannanoa, NC, the animal rescue organization of your choice, or Trinity Grove, 631 Junction Creek Drive, Wilmington.

Online condolences at

Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Nov. 18 to Nov. 19, 2012
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