Wilma J. Parker, 83

Wilma Parker

Wilma Parker

SOUTH PARIS — Wilma Jean “Jeannie” Parker, 83, died Feb. 16, 2016, at the Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris, with her loved ones by her side.

The youngest of three daughters of William and Gertrude (Bestor) Parker, Jeannie was born on March 4, 1932, in Watertown, N.Y. Both parents died when she was only five years old.Jeannie graduated from high school in Black River, N.Y. She acted in school plays and sang in the Glee Club. She loved to sing and was a member of the “Sweet Adelines,” specializing in barbershop harmony.Considering becoming a nurse, Jeannie took a position in a small local hospital. Among other duties and emergencies, she was called upon to help deliver babies. This became a rich source of many of her wonderful stories.After her adventures in the hospital, Jeannie joined the U.S. Air Force and served at Lackland AFB in Texas. One of her assignments was welcoming new enlistees into her barracks, making them feel at home, and showing them the ropes.After her discharge from the Air Force, Jeannie moved to California, where she worked in Azusa as a meat cutter in a butcher shop. Following that, she spent several years in Los Angeles where she worked in inventory control for Bausch and Lomb Optical Company. She then worked for Shell Oil Company in Anaheim in the accounting department.On a lark, in July of 1979, Jeannie and her good friend Gayla Galbraith, currently of Brunswick, moved sight unseen to Eustis, to take over what became the Pines Market, adjacent to the Cathedral Pines Campground. They operated the market for four very busy and interesting years.Jeannie’s next move was to Bridgton, where she worked, for about ten years, as a custodian and then head custodian in SAD 61. She loved working at the schools and made many friends among the teaching staff and the students.Jeannie was a talented, creative artist who enjoyed sketching, painting and sculpting with clay. She was also a skilled woodworker, building and repairing furniture pieces. She loved putting her tool belt on and helping Mark Harmon and Bob Dunning with their building projects.She loved the outdoors, wandering in the woods, observing plant life and searching for wildlife, particularly moose. She also loved to drive and explore the United States and Canada, and spent several weeks with friends traveling around England.

In 1984, Jeannie met the love of her life, Paulina Dellosso, in Bridgton, when they were introduced to one another by a mutual friend. It was love at first sight. Jeannie and Paulina and their beloved family members Katie Jane (aka Dinky Dog), Miss Claire, Poohbear, Stella, Baby Kitty and Franchesca lived in Bridgton, where Jeannie was one of the chief founders of the Bridgton Community Crime Watch. She was a very enthusiastic and involved member of the community — welcoming new neighbors and helping them get acquainted with the town and its amenities and natural beauties.In 2005, Jeannie was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. She was lovingly cared for at home by Paulina with the help of a network of wonderful friends and neighbors, especially Mark and Julie Harmon. Dr. Suzanne Dater and Nurse Florence met her medical needs with so much compassion and kindness. In 2008 Jeannie was admitted to the Maine Veterans’ Home, where she was tenderly and respectfully cared for by the wonderful staff, who often said that she was definitely “one-of-a-kind”!Jeannie will be deeply missed by many, especially her longtime friend Gayla, her beloved Paulina and Katie Jane (aka Dinky Dog), dear friends Mark and Julie, Sally, Lisa and Harry, Duane and Sue, Laura and daughter Ava, Kate, Bette-Jean and Joyce.

She was predeceased by dear friends Bob, Charlie, Gus and John.As Jeannie wished, there will be a celebration of her life on Sunday, May 15, from 3 p.m. to sunset at Fort Williams State Park, 1000 Shore Rd., Cape Elizabeth.

 

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