Ellen Ruth Parker


Posted: Thursday, August 28, 2003

Anchor Point resident Ellen Ruth Parker died Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2003, at her home. She was 85.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31, at the Finn residence.

Mrs. Parker, the second of four children, was born in Merrill, Wis., on May 6, 1918. She ventured to southern California, where she and her husband, Russ, raised their children, Jim and Kate Finn.

After Russ's death in 1959, Mrs. Parker began a career with North American Aviation (NAA), where she started as a file clerk and progressed to executive secretary during her 20 year career.

"She loved her work and many times said it was so rewarding and fun that she would do it for free," her family said. "She felt great pride in the space programs and, having personally met some of the early astronauts, she felt responsible for each of their successes and failures."

In 1967, she married Kayo, a fellow square dancer and employee at NAA. In 1994, the couple moved into Mrs. Parker's dream house in Roseburg, Ore., and in 1998, they joined her daughter, Kate, in Anchor Point.

"Ruth loved to kick up her heels and especially sparkled when she and Kayo would go dancing at the Elks," her family said.

She also enjoyed playing the piano, spending time with friends and family, reading and writing poetry.

"Only Imelda Marcos had a greater passion for shoes," her family said.

"Her children, husband, friends and space industry work were her life and love. (She) loved life, had a quick wit and a great appreciation for a sense of humor. Because she was such a good friend, she had good friends of a deep and nurturing kind."

Mrs. Parker was preceded in death by her parents, John and Minnie Reynolds; her first husband, Russell Finn; her second husband, Kayo Parker; her niece Marsha; her great-nephew Josh; and many friends in Wisconsin, California and Oregon.

She is survived by her children, Jim and Kate Finn; her brothers, "Red" and Chuck Reynolds; her sister, Dorothy Martin; her grandson, Zach Brodsky-Finn; her heart-sister Kitty Pessin; and friend of 85 years, Ev Wachtl.

Arrangements were made by the Homer Funeral Home.

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