Funeral services for Elsie Oleeta Parker, 98, West Plains, Missouri, will be held at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, January 13, 2013, at Carter Funeral Home Chapel, West Plains with Brother Bill Bales officiating under the direction of Carter Funeral Home.
Oleeta Parker was a living page from a history book. She witnessed world events that, as we look back, are quite extraordinary. She was born in a rural setting in Oklahoma, which had been a state for only 7 years. World War I was clammoring on another continent and the czars still ruled the Russian Empire. As a child, her home was blown away by a tornado, and she married and started her family during the Great Depression. The Calhouns and Parkers survived the devastation of drought and the Dust Bowl, and joined hundreds of families praying for a new life as they travelled the dusty roads of Route 66 on their way to California.
She found work in the Kaiser Ship Yards of San Francisco and was trained as a welder during the War — she and so many other “Rosie the Riveters” made their contribution to the war effort. The prototype single mother, she raised two boys who served their country in the military and became fine young men.
After the war, she worked at the Gibson Guitar manufacturing facility in Michigan, and retired there to move closer to family who had settled in Missouri. And she found West Plains. She lived here longer than any other place. She loved her little house on Hynes Street, and West Plains was home for almost 40 years.
Her family will miss Aunt Sis. But we are comforted that she is “absent with the body, but present in the Lord.” And what a relief….no more suffering, confusion, fear. She can walk without falling, and we all smile when we remember….her index finger is straight now.
We are comforted in knowing that death has no sting, and she is resting and happy in the arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, and can be left at the funeral home.
Burial will be in Oak Lawn Cemetery, West Plains.