Julia Elizabeth Clark Parker (1915 - 2018)

Obituary
  • ""Please accept my heartfelt condolences during this most..."
  • "My sympathy goes out to the Parker Family during your time..."
    - DR
  • "I did not know your mama, but she was born about the same..."
    - Betty Jo Rodgers
  • "To Mike, Elizabeth and all of the Parker family. I'm sorry..."
    - Alvis Collins
  • "Elizabeth, your Mother must have been a very sweet and..."
    - Bettie Upton

On Tuesday, November 13th, 2018, Julia Elizabeth Clark Parker, age 103, passed away. She immediately moved to Heaven where she is celebrating and happy beyond measure. We really have to be good now because she's watching over us from a seat that money cannot buy.
Our mama was born on September 21st, 1915 in Ernul, NC, a small Eastern NC town, to Edward Washington Clark and Eula Maggie Willis Clark. Mama was their firstborn. She was followed by nine siblings.
Mama always championed the underdog. She grew up dirt poor. Many times there was very little to eat. She and her brothers and sisters wore shoes that did not fit and clothes that were clean, but patched and worn out. Newspapers and cardboard were used to plug up the holes in the home.
She received her education in a one-room schoolhouse, "graduating" from the fifth grade. Cotton and tobacco fields had her name written all over them.
In Conway, SC, on September 27th, 1945, mama and our daddy, Rufus Earl Parker, married. Daddy was from Kinston. Mama was 31 and daddy was 38. Daddy passed away on July 27th, 1959.
Mama became a single parent. She did whatever it took to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. Mike and I lacked for nothing that we needed. Mama never complained, and going to social services for assistance never entered her mind.
One of mama's most proud accomplishments was when she earned her driver's license. She was 45. And, it took only four tries for her to pass the road test. Wow!! She received a ticket for driving too slow. Mama told the police officer that she only drove as fast as she could handle the car. She was not arrested.
Julia Parker had a love for God. She tithed all her life, even from her meager social security check. She expected us to participate in all church services and programs. Daily family Bible devotion time was a given. No excuses. Mama served on church communion and nursery committees.
Our mama enjoyed cooking. She firmly believed in over cooking most food except for collard greens and cabbage. Meats had to be browned, overly browned. Mike once commented that "his mama made the best fried chicken in the whole world." She certainly did! Mama looked forward to the grandchildren staying overnight with her. They would eat a hearty country breakfast which included mama's big, delicious homemade biscuits. It was a rare occasion when mama would actually sit down for a meal. She relished in serving up the banquet. And, begged you to eat more.
Mama loved to fish with a cane pole and camp in a tent. She was 94 on her last camping trip. Mama enjoyed the smell of burning wood and cooking outdoors. She liked to travel. Mama always insisted that she would never board an airplane. If God wanted us to fly, he would have given us wings. But when my husband, son and I lived in California and Oklahoma, she had to eat her words. Mama always claimed that if it hadn't been for a nice, young serviceman, she would still be riding on a tram at the Atlanta Airport. She loved driving from New Bern to Garden City, SC, to visit cousins. She took the train to New York to visit her sister, Mary. She visited her grandson, Brian, at his home in Florida. Mama traveled with us to Memphis to tour Elvis's house, Graceland. She was not impressed. Mama loved people and would visit anyone. Picture her with suitcase in hand and a seven layer chocolate cake on her lap. That's how she traveled.
I moved mama from New Bern to Shelby in 2001. She was 85. Mama dreaded the move because she had lived most of her life in New Bern. It had to be done so that we could take better care of her. Being the trooper she was, mama settled right into her new apartment, made many friends and joined Shelby Missionary Methodist Church.
Her health began to fail in 2006. She became a patient at Cleveland Pines. She loved "the Pines" with all her heart and appreciated the care, attention, support and love she received from the dedicated staff. Did anyone say "bingo"? Mama had a reputation for being sweet and feisty. I dyed her hair red for many years because she needed some color, red suited her personality, and she could be spotted easily. Scooting around in her wheelchair, she visited other patients, staff and visitors. Always on the go, mama was funny, smart and kind, with a compassionate spirit. Did I mention candidly outspoken?
Our mama is survived by me, her daughter, Elizabeth "Liz" Earl Parker Todd (Ray) of Shelby, NC; her son, Michael "Mike" Elmer Parker (Sheila) of Pollocksville, NC; grandchildren, Michael "Brian" Todd of Shelby, NC; Marjorie Meredith Parker Hicks (Wayne) of Clayton, NC; Ann Ashley Parker Daniels of New Bern, NC; great grandchildren, David "Hunter" Daniels, Laura Holdyn Daniels, William "Will" Michael Hicks, Maggie Katherine Hicks.
Mama, we love you and miss you so much!
Mama's beloved granddaughter, Katherine Kerry Parker, passed away in 2005.
Julia's deceased siblings include: Walter Clark, Eugene "Edward" Clark, Mary Clark Becker, Robert Clark, Cecil Clark, Floyd Clark, Paul Clark, Ruby Clark Tyndall, Gertie Clark Plimling.
A service of celebration and burial will be held on Saturday, February 23rd, 2019 at 3:00 PM. Greenleaf Memorial Park, 900 River Road, New Bern, NC 28562.
Visit with the family immediately following the service at The Parker Farm Barn, 7137 Hwy 17, Pollocksville, NC 28573.
In lieu of flowers, our mama would suggest that memorials be made to Hospice of Cleveland County, 951 Wendover Heights Drive, Shelby, NC 28150, or to , 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. These 2 charities were near and dear to our mama's heart.
To sign the guest book, please go to www.clevelandfuneralservices.com
A service of Cleveland Funeral Services & Crematory, Inc.

Funeral Home
Cleveland Funeral Services
2518 W Dixon Blvd
Shelby, NC 28152
(704) 487-5811
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Published in Sun Journal from Nov. 18 to Dec. 17, 2018
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