Patricia Bell Parker, age 71, of Baird passed away on Sunday, October 6, 2019.
Pat, or Trish to many, was born on September 1, 1948, in Brownwood, Texas to the late Arthur Jackson and Maurice “Reecie” Durham Bell. She was raised in Brownwood, Texas where she graduated high school in 1966. She went on to graduate from Howard Payne University in Brownwood on May 22, 1970, with a Bachelor of Science in secondary education, physical education and art education. Following her graduation from Howard Payne University, she served as the Drill Team instructor at Brownwood High School for several years and then worked for the Herman Bennett Construction Company. In the early part of 1973, Trish met the love of her life, Roger “Skip” Parker and his children, LeAnna and Scott. She met Skip in the parking lot of her apartment complex as she prepared to move to Atlanta, Georgia with her new pea green Dodge packed with all of her belongings. Fate intervened and they ended up talking so long that Trish eventually unpacked her car. It became clear they were both smitten, and they married later that year on November 23, 1973, at the First Christian Church in Brownwood. In 1977, Skip and Trish moved to Baird where Skip went to work for Morgan Funeral Home. Skip and Trish then purchased the funeral home on May 15, 1979, with it becoming Parker Funeral Home until they retired on August 21, 2019. Trish helped Skip to run the family business throughout the 42 years of its existence. In 1980, their son, Michael, was born and Trish stayed home to raise him and did part time substitute teaching. Trish went back to full time teaching in August of 1987 at Clyde Elementary School. Over the years, Trish primarily taught social studies and English at Clyde before retiring in May of 2006.
It was as an elementary school educator that Trish truly found her calling. She developed a reputation for kindness, patience, and creativity and mentored many, many boys and girls over the years. She kept in touch with many of her students, and often received calls, letters, and emails from those whose lives she touched. Indeed, it was difficult to go anywhere with Trish without running into someone she had taught or worked with, and she was almost constantly receiving hugs, handshakes, and smiles. Trish looked back on her years as an educator with great fondness.
Outside the classroom, Trish devoted her time to her church, the First Presbyterian Church in Baird, Texas, where she served as an elder and member of the Session for many years. She found great joy in her role as the church’s Song Leader.. She was also a gifted gardener and a loving caregiver to a large number of rescue animals.
Trish is survived by her husband, Skip Parker; her son, Michael Parker; a daughter-in-law, Meghan; and their sons, Nox and Mattox; her stepdaughter, LeAnna Goodwin and her daughters, Jordan and Zoe; her stepson, Scott Parker; her niece, Ellen Foster; her nephew, Jay Mercer; her brother and sister-in-law, D.V. and Cheryl Cook; and nieces, Debbie Montgomery and Cindy Stevens.
Funeral services will be 10 AM on Saturday, October 12th at the First Baptist Church in Baird, Texas. There will be a visitation on Friday, Oct. 11th from 5-7 P.M. at the First Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to one of Trish’s favorite causes, the American Cancer Society or the First Presbyterian Church in Baird’s renovation and building fund.
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