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PARHAM Eulalee Marion Cordice Parham A woman of faith, devoted wife and mother, and career art educator, Eulalee Marion Cordice was born September 30, 1920 in Aurora, North Carolina to John Walter Vincent and Pearl Mae Hollingsworth Cordice. Her big brother felt she was a gift just for him. Eulalee passed away on July 24, 2017. Marion's father immigrated from the West Indies to study surgery at Howard University School of Medicine. After World War I started, Dr. Cordice was commissioned as a Public Health Medical Service Officer and sent to Aurora to stem an outbreak of influenza. When the children: Vincent, Marion, Evangeline and Victoria reached school age, the family moved to Durham, where a new hospital that needed doctors had opened. The move provided better living accommodations for the family and improved their quality of life. As Marion advanced from nursery school to elementary school, Evangeline wanted to stay with her big sister, this desire continued through elementary and high school. The sisters became known as "Big Cordice" and "Little Cordice." After high school, they enrolled at Howard University in Washington, DC. Evangeline's poor health prevented her from finishing that first year, and she passed away the next summer. Thriving at Howard, Marion majored in Fine Arts and Art Education, pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA), made the "A" honor roll, and graduated in four years. After a year of graduate studies at Columbia University in New York she accepted a teaching position at North Carolina Central University in Durham. Marion left NCCU to complete her M.A. at Columbia. She returned to Durham, she married a childhood friend, Thomas David Parham, Jr., who had joined the Navy as a chaplain. As a Navy wife, Marion accompanied her husband to places ranging from Japan to Rhode Island. Marion found her true calling as a chaplain's wife: serving as surrogate mother for young naval officers. She and David provided guidance to self-described "lost children," treating them as family. They were married for 55 years before David's death in 2007. Marion completed affiliation with AKA and put on the 20 pearls of a full-fledged Soror Alpha Zeta AKA. She served in Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Norfolk chapters, her service cumulated in her designation as a Golden Life Iota Omega Soror. Marion taught for public schools in Alexandria, Virginia; Harford County, Maryland; and Norfolk, Virginia. Her last education job was serving as an art supervisor for Norfolk Public Schools. She was a dedicated member of Messiah Presbyterian Church in Norfolk. She is survived by her daughters Edith E. Greene and Mae M. Pouget, CAPT, MC, USN; her son Dr. Thomas D. Parham, III; son-in-law Lane E. Thurmond; daughter-in-law, Dr. Sarah J. Adams; step-grandson Noel C. Adams; sisters-in-law, Marguerite S. Cordice and Ella L. Proctor; brother-in-law, Ward S. Parham; an extensive military family; as well as a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Interment August 30, 2017 at 2 p.m., Arlington National Cemetery.Interment August 30, 2017 at 2 p.m., Arlington National Cemetery.
Published in The Washington Post on Aug. 24, 2017
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