Cover photo for Mary Sue (Durham)  Parker's Obituary
Mary Sue (Durham)  Parker Profile Photo
1935 Mary 2020

Mary Sue (Durham) Parker

January 14, 1935 — December 9, 2020

Waco, Texas

Mary Sue Parker, 85 of Waco, Texas passed away peacefully on December 9, 2020 and into the loving arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ after a long battle with dementia.  She was surrounded by her loving family.

Mary was an accomplished educator and earned two masters degrees along the way, but her personal accomplishments were never as important to her as her priorities:   Her relationship with Christ, Her role as Wife, and Her role of Mother of her four children.

Mary was born on January 14, 1935 in Afton, Oklahoma to Roy and Gracie Durham.  She became a Christian when she was nine and was baptized by her father, Roy.

Mary was a member of First Baptist Church, Woodway.  A graveside service will be conducted at Oakwood Cemetery in Waco, Texas at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, December 14, 2020.

Mary lived in several small towns around northeast Oklahoma where her father served as pastor of the local Baptist church, and her family became integral members of the community.

A lifelong learner, Mary earned an associate’s degree from Northeastern A&M, a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma Baptist University and a Masters of Education degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  These degrees allowed her to teach in several colleges and universities.  She also worked as a child development specialist, and as the Administrator of the Even Start Literacy Program.

Mary met the love of her life, John C. Parker at a revival in 1952 and they were married on July 20, 1956.  They were married for sixty-four years at the time of her death.  Mary and John had four children, John, David, Paul and Lanora.

Mary is survived by her husband, John and their children John and his wife Barbara, Paul and his wife Landa, and Lanora Aucoin and her husband Frank.  She is preceded in death by her precious son David.  In addition, she is survived by five grandchildren, Adam Parker, Emily Parker-Butler (husband John), Brad Parker (wife Carolyn), Zack Parker, Max Aucoin and two great-grandchildren, Lucy Butler and Rhys Parker.

David had a traumatic brain injury in a car accident in 1984.  At a time most couples are welcoming an empty nest and dreaming of grandchildren, Mary dedicated herself to help meet the challenges following his accident.  She tirelessly researched the intricacies of brain injuries, and dedicated the rest of her life to David’s care, rehabilitation, and accommodation of his unique needs.  Mary’s tireless efforts allowed David to survive and propser for 34 years before his death in 2018.

We will miss her greatly, but are happy that she is at peace following her long struggle.  We are also grateful for the many things she left us with.  She loved unconditionally, and we – her family – benefitted greatly from our time being illuminated by the light of that love.  In addition, she lived a life of humility, service, and the pursuit of worthy objectives that will continue to inspire us for the rest of our lives.  We consider ourselves exceptionally fortunate to be the family of Mary Sue Parker.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, National Head Injury Foundation or the charity of your choice.

Registry for Mary Parker

To send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Sue (Durham) Parker, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Monday, December 14, 2020

9:00am - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Monday, December 14, 2020

Starts at 2:30 pm (Central time)

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