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On September 11, 2022, Elaine Williams Parker peacefully passed away at home in Peachtree City, GA at the age of 81. A wife to Norm for nearly 56 years and mother to Linda and Gayle, her life of travel and adventure began on June 13, 1941 when she was born into an Army family in Anchorage, AK.
As an infant, doctors determined she was born with ventricular septal defect, a hole in her heart, but open heart surgery was not yet a medical option. Despite this health constraint, she lived a full childhood moving throughout the United States, and most of her high school years were in Taipei, Taiwan where she graduated high school.
As a young adult in the midst of college, Elaine was amongst the first generation of open heart surgery patients. Following the surgery’s success, she graduated from the University of Texas and began her teaching career.
For most of the next 40 years Elaine taught elementary school children. With every class she met her students where they were and brought her love and respect for them to the classroom each day. As was her way, most students and parents became dear friends.
Meeting in Okinawa, Elaine married Norm in 1966 becoming an Air Force wife. And, so continued being on the move and collecting lifelong friends along the way.
Linda and Gayle were fortunate to have a front row seat as Elaine consistently lived out her beliefs and priorities. And, she adored time spent with her grandchildren – at the beach, cooking and baking, or doing puzzles.
While she ultimately spent many years living in Louisiana and Georgia, her love for travel remained. She and Norm enjoyed spending much of their retirement visiting friends.
Elaine is survived by her husband Norman Parker. Brother Terry Williams of Scottsdale, AZ. Sister Linda McKinney of Lakewood, WA. Daughters Linda Parker Damodaran (Ashwin Damodaran) of Milton, GA and Gayle Parker Gerdes (Eric Gerdes) of Dayton, MD. Grandchildren Raina Damodaran, Neena Damodaran, Robert Gerdes, Michael Gerdes, & Anna Gerdes.
She is, not surprisingly, also survived by many friends who more accurately feel like family.
Elaine was an avid reader, and as we celebrate her life, the words of John Donne come to mind. “When one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language.”
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 on Sunday, September 25th at St. Andrew’s of the Pines in Peachtree City, GA.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association or your local hospice organization.