Alma Elizabeth Parker was heavily involved with church, remembered for compassion

COLUMBIA — Alma Elizabeth Parker, known as a survivor with a cheerful attitude, never batted an eye when asked to help those in need. In fact, she usually helped others before being asked.

Mrs. Parker, life-long resident of Columbia, died Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2011, in Lee’s Summit. She was 93.

She was born June 20, 1918, in Boone County near Columbia to Cecil and Suzy Mae (Long) Wade.

She grew up in Boone County and was a charter member of Memorial Baptist Church. She survived polio in her teens, and she walked with a limp for the rest of her life.

She graduated from Hickman High. She married Fred Young on May 26, 1937. They had one son, Jerry Young.

Carolyn Young, her daughter-in-law, said Mrs. Parker was a survivor who put others’ needs before her own. Her late husband was sick throughout most of their marriage, so she did the housework, managed a job as a financial secretary at MFA Inc. and took care of her husband and son without ever complaining.

“You could always count on her,” Young said. “She was a very giving person.”

Her husband died in 1956. She then met and married Paul Parker. After their marriage, Mrs. Parker quit her job and focused on her family, home and church.

The Parkers were active in Memorial Baptist Church’s youth ministry.

“The kids could tell Alma and Paul things they couldn’t tell their parents,” Young said. “They called them granny and grandpa. It was just like they had more children.”

Mrs. Parker was known for her cooking, especially her spaghetti, lemonade pie and cheesecake with cherries on top.

“Whenever she brought dishes for people in need or cooked for church, people always wanted her to bring her super spaghetti,” Young said.

Mrs. Parker had three grandchildren, and she told Young some memorable advice, “Love those kids because they are your greatest assets."

She moved to Lee’s Summit in 1985 when her husband grew ill, and later in life, she moved into the John Knox Village Care Center. Columbia was always her home, Young said, but she fit in at John Knox.

“She cheered people up right up to the end,” Young said. “I bet she’s up in heaven cheering a lot of people up.”

Mrs. Parker is survived by her son, Jerry Young, and his wife, Carolyn; three grandchildren, Brad Young and his wife, Sarah, Leigh Anne Sirna and her husband, Pete, Kristen Wimberly and Buck Wimberly; and six great-grandchildren, Marisa Sirna and Anthony Sirna, Parker Young and Lauren Young, and Elliot Wimberly and Everett Wimberly.

Her husband, Fred Young, died in 1956, and her second husband, Paul Parker, died in 1996.

Visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday at Parker Funeral Service, 22 N. Tenth St. Services, conducted by Pastor Randy Schilb, will follow at the funeral home. Burial will be at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 W.

Memorial contributions can be made to Memorial Baptist Church, 1634 Paris Road, Columbia, MO 65202.

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