Joan Parker

Published 11:11 am Tuesday, November 12, 2013

CARY – Joan Parker went to be with the Lord on September 18, 2013 after a long illness. She lived in Cary with her daughter, Cheryl, and was blessed to have her as a caregiver.

She is survived by two daughters, Annette Upchurch of Raleigh, and Cheryl Rush of Carty; two sisters, Joyce P. Lyon of Chapel Hill, and Nita P. Brown of Colerain; and three grandchildren, Chelsea Upchurch of Durham, Zack Upchurch of Cary, and Parker Sexton of Cary.

She was predeceased by her parents, Harry and Nita Parker of Winton; and a brother, Harry Parker Jr. of Georgia.

A memorial service was held in Durham on September 20, which was her 74th birthday.

These words describe Joan well: giving, friend, spiritual, optimistic, teacher, encouraging, and patient.

She raised two daughters as a single parent while going to school and working two jobs. She achieved a Masters Degree with magna cum laude distinction in nursing education and taught in Durham Nursing School programs for many years until her retirement. She worked with Pregnancy Support Services and was a volunteer at Duke Gardens. She enjoyed her church and especially a group of friends with whom she had a walking routine and a yearly vacation at Myrtle Beach.

The way she dealt with the struggles she faced in life was an inspiration to her family and all who knew her. She showed us that even though life may be hard at times, there is always a rainbow at the other end.

Anyone wishing to share a memorial gift in Joan’s memory may do so at the Alzheimers Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001.