Ann Katherine Parks

Ann Katherine Parks "Aloha, Ann" 4/21/1921 - 11/16/2011 Ann Katherine Parks, a devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother and sister, passed away at her Tucson, AZ home on November 16, 2011. She was 90. Ann was born in Baltimore, MD on April 21, 1921, one of six children to her parents, Carl and Katharina Pomles of Baltimore. Raised through the Great Depression, Ann developed a talented and independent spirit that would embolden her to embrace the challenges and new opportunities life would bring her way. After the United States become involved in World War II, Ann joined the Women's Army Corps. A young beauty, she was featured in an article in the Baltimore Sun about women who signed up to serve their country. Her eldest brother, Harry also served as a lieutenant in the Army Air Force. He was killed when his plane was shot down over St. Lô, France while on a mission during the war. During these years, she began seeing a young pilot, Ira "Bud" Parks, who was serving in the 82nd Airborne. The two met during a Paul-Jones dance, where girls form an inner circle, facing the outer circle made up of boys. The two circles move in opposite directions while the music plays. When the music suddenly stops, the boy and girl facing each other then pair to dance together to the next song. Ann stopped at Bud, and the two had their first dance. They soon became engaged, and were married. Ann joked that her bridesmaids were comprised of paratroopers from the 82nd. After the war ended both were honorably discharged from the Army. Ann nurtured Bud's dream of flying for a commercial airline and worked to support him while he earned his Aeronautical Engineering Degree. Ann's encouragement guided Bud to being hired as a pilot with American Airlines. Ann and Bud soon began a family, and moved from Michigan to Washington, DC. The couple then moved to Chicago. Ann loved the Christmas season, decorating her home with holiday trim, always preparing an exciting Christmas morning for her family. Ann and Bud moved back to Washington, DC and in 1967 moved the family to the Bay Area, settling in Menlo Park. The couple were finally able to travel to Hawaii, which they grew to love. Their marriage of 38 years was a testament to their devotion to each other when, in 1984, Bud died of heart failure at the age of 59. In 2000, Ann moved to Kona, Hawaii. On her own, she reached out to her community, volunteering with clubs and senior groups. Ann had an elegant sense of style in her personal fashion and in the special flair she brought to fundraising events, which she was often asked to chair. She built her last home to be near her daughter in Tucson, AZ, where she spent the winter months. In spring, she was eager to return to her beloved Hawaii. She said she felt closest to God in Kona, where she could see His presence in the beauty of nature that surrounded her each morning and with each sunset. Ann was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister, who gave generously to her family and community. Her grace, style and sense of humor will be long remembered by those who benefitted from her talents, energy and kindness. She is survived by her daughters, Debra Parks, Kathy Poggi (Tony) of Tucson, AZ and Patty Goodin (Doug) of Novato, CA; her grandchildren, Jeremy Keelin, Alex Townsend and Jennifer Townsend; her brother, Charles Pomles of Deland, FL and her sister, Jenny Gill of Baltimore, MD. She was preceded in death by her husband, Ira Parks and her son, Clark Parks; her brothers, Harry and Bill Pomles and her sister, Mary Teevan. A Celebration of Ann's life is planned for a later date in Kona, Hawaii. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Carondelet Foundation, P.O. Box 13170, Tucson, AZ 85775-3232. Arrangements by VISTOSO FUNERAL HOME. *Mahalo~*

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Nov. 27, 2011