Gladys Akers Parker, 97, died May 31, 2004. Funeral services were held at the United Methodist Church, Follett, Texas. Interment was at the Higgins Cemetery, Higgins, Texas.
Gladys Akers Parker was born to Charles and Cleo Akers on September 14, 1906 in Shattuck, Oklahoma (then Oklahoma Territory). The Akers family was instrumental in establishing the local First Presbyterian Church. Her parents purchased a ranch in Lipscomb County and she and her siblings attended a one room rural school until the family moved to Higgins, Texas, to continue their education. Gladys taught at Loland and Cope Schools. She completed her education at Austin College in Sherman, Texas and the University of Texas in Austin.
In 1928 she married Verner Parker. The lived in Follett where she taught school for two years. In 1930 they moved to a ranch on Wolf Creek near Higgins, Texas, where their six children were born. Riverfront Ranch on the Canadian River southwest of Arnett, was purchased in 1940. In 1944 another home was bought in Alpine, Texas, where the children attended school and college
A devoted wife, a loving mother and grandmother, family was most important to her. She was a tireless homemaker enjoying all aspect of their lives whether cooking for large numbers, sewing prom dresses, nursing ailments, or harvesting vegetables from her garden. When each new grandchild arrived, she was there. They all spent many memorable summers in her care. She was a mentor for many, always supportive and caring, a role model for all who knew her. One of her many pleasures was playing hymns on the piano.
Gladys and Verner celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1978. Verners death in 1984 did not lessen her desire to live at the ranch where she continued being a gracious hostess to family and friends. She was an active member of the United Methodist Church in Follett. After a stroke in 1995, she divided her time between daughters homes. In 2003 she made her permanent home with Shirley and Marlin Robinson until her death May 31, 2004.
The matriarch of a large family she is preceded in death by her husband, four grandchildren, four brothers, and one sister.
She is survived by six children: Elaine Wilhelm and husband, Wallace, Odessa, Texas; Dophia Blocker, Santa Barbara, California; Marilyn Sullivan, Austin, Texas; Shirley Robinson and husband, Marlin, Albuquerque, New Mexico; Janice Smith and husband, Duane, Sierra Vista, Arizona; Deryl Parker and Gwen Peterson, Arnett; eighteen grandchildren, thirty-seven great grandchildren, five great-great grandchildren and two sisters. Evelyn Smith, Boise City, Oklahoma and Elsie Smith, Woodward, Oklahoma.
In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made to United Methodist Women, Follett, Texas, 79034 or the United Methodist Women, Box 377, Arnett, Oklahoma, 73832 or the charity of their choice.
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