July 23, 1925 - June 2, 2020 Irene Gertrude Teifle Parkinson, passed away peacefully in the early hours of June 2, 2020. Irene was born on July 23, 1925 in the small German village of Gerabronn to a cooper father and a homemaker mother. Growing up during the throes of World War II. Irene's fondest memories were spending time at her grandparent's farm nearby, keeping her father company while he crafted barrels for the local community and enjoying the cider that was held in some of them. Irene remained in Gerabronn until her late 20's whereupon, on her own, she moved to Stuttgart where she eventually met her future husband, U.S. Army Master Sergeant Robert 'Bob' Parkinson. Married in 1959 she soon found herself reluctantly packing up her life and moving, as Bob had been relocated to San Francisco. After arriving San Francisco, it wasn't very long before Irene was ready to leave. Unhappy about leaving Germany to begin with, the weather being what it is in San Francisco (and the assumption everyone around her was a gangster) Irene urged Bob to request a transfer to the sunny climes of Southern California he had told her about when telling her about his youth and earlier time in the service. Fortunately, within a year he was able to oblige her and they were on they're way to San Pedro. Their daughter Robin arrived later that year and the Parkinson Family was completed. While Bob finished up his military time Irene worked on getting up to speed on being a mom and managing a household in America. Bringing her old world skills to her new home she was at ease in the kitchen, a competent seamstress, kept an immaculate house and an efficient budget; she was the consummate homemaker And her ever-gracious hospitality expanded their circle of friends quickly. She settled in well. Along the way she discovered the Cabrillo Beach Polar Bears and soon became a member. The beach quickly became a staple for her. An ocean swim, a few rounds of Mexican Train, and a meeting of friends updating on the latest local happenings became a part of her daily life. This association lasted well over 40 years and was highlighted by her being elected Queen in 1981. An honor she took with great pride. Along the way she joined the well-known stage review "The Tap Dance Girls". She cherished her time as a performer and the friendships that continued after the lights dimmed. And, no day was complete without her pre-dinner vodka tonic; a tradition that carried into her final week. If you were lucky enough, you may have been a benefactor of her labors in baking by receiving a cake on your birthday or maybe at Christmas a tin of her delicious cookies. They were unequaled. And, as if Santa Claus himself was in charge of the baking, you knew where you stood by whether or not you received a tin. Irene is survived by her daughter Robin; grandchildren Christy, Kurt and Lori; great grandchildren Grace and Lydia and countless people of every age, and from every corner of the earth who were honored to be called her friend. A celebration of life at Cabrillo Beach will be planned for late July so please check cabrillobeachpolarbears.com
for more information and updates. In lieu of flowers, take a swim in the ocean and while you are there, be a good steward and leave the beach a little better than you found it. Irene would thank you.