Vera Anne Versen Parker, formerly of Orange, passed away peacefully Thursday, April 28, in Lufkin. She was born Dec. 10, 1937 in Vicksburg, Ms.
Vera was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph Louis Versen and Vera Cobb Versen and her son Louis Versen Parker.
She is survived by her loving husband of 56 years, Earl B. Parker, Jr., daughter Paige Parker Speer and husband Kevin of Mont Belvieu and son E. Brewer Parker III and wife Amy of Gastonia, NC. She leaves behind brothers, Greg Versen and wife Susie of Harrisonburg, Va, Joe Versen and wife Terri of York, SC and sister-in-law, Nancy Parker Howell and husband Stan of Okemos, Mi. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Madison, Caroline and Parker Speer, Payton and Sloan Parker and numerous nieces and nephews.
She graduated in three years from Mississippi College with a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education. On May 30, 1939 she married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life. They moved to Chapel Hill, NC where she was a member of the “Chem Fems,” wives of UNC Chemistry graduate students, taught third grade at Hope Valley Elementary School in Durham, NC and also worked for the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy. During this time she grew to love UNC basketball and was a lifelong supporter of the Tar Heels. In 1965 they moved to Orange, where she raised her three children and volunteered her time at church, American Association of University Women and Community Concerts. She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church and taught homebound for Little Cypress Mauriceville School District. In 1976 they moved to Baytown where she resumed her volunteer work and continued to be an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Baytown. She worked for a brief time teaching Goose Creek Independent School District homebound students and co-founded a travel club. While living in Baytown she later changed her membership to Cedar Bayou United Methodist Church, where she found great enjoyment teaching a young couples Sunday school class. Vera was also active in the Baytown Service League, holding several offices and a PEO member. On her return to Orange in 1989 she found herself back in her element serving as a United Way volunteer Board Member, Community Concert Chair and held several offices in AAUW. While at First Presbyterian of Orange, she created the Bread Ministry and served on their boards. Additionally, she conducted tours through the church sharing her knowledge of all the treasures within. She also studied and became a Texas Registered Parliamentarian and spent 15 years as a docent at the Stark House and the Stark Museum of Art.
She was the perfect model of living a Christian life by example which was a true testament to her faith. She was a loving nonjudgmental soul who always looked to help the less fortunate. She was a wonderfully devoted wife, mom, V.V., sister and friend. She instilled in her children and grandchildren learning was knowledge. Her family wishes to express a special thank you to Hospice in the Pines personnel and Nurse Katie Fabro, for her loving care and attentiveness. An additional thank you to the nurses and caregivers at Lottie Temple Memory Center and the skilled nursing area at PineCrest Methodist Retirement Community.
A celebration of her life will take place Saturday, June 11, at First Presbyterian Church of Orange at 3:00 pm. The service will be under the direction of the Rev. Mike Umbenhaur with interment immediately following at the church’s columbarium. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Vera’s name to: Hospice in the Pines, 1504 W. Frank Avenue, Lufkin, Texas 75904 or PineCrest Methodist Retirement Community, 1302 Tom Temple Drive, Lufkin, Texas 75904, or a charity of your choice.