After 96 vibrant years of love, dedication, faith and laughter, Laura Jeannette Parks passed away peacefully March 26, 2021, following a stroke. She died in Temple, Texas, the town where she married her friend for life, Louis Bayes (L.B.) Parks, Sr, and gave birth to three of their children.
A viewing will be held from 3-5 p.m. Monday, April 5 at Harper-Talasek, 500 W. Barton in Temple. A graveside service will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 6, at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, 11463 Hwy 195, Killeen, TX. 76542.
With her were her much-loved and fortunate children, Louis Parks Jr., Danny Parks, Jeanine Dooley and Randolph Parks. Other survivors are grandchildren Jillian and Sean Parks.
Laura, a registered nurse, missionary and fighter for everything and everyone she believed in, led a life of cheerful service to her family, a vast number of friends and her Christian faith. Differences in religion, race, age, politics or world view meant nothing to her; she loved everyone. Baylor was her favorite team, Billy Graham was – after Dad – her favorite preacher and Denzel Washington was her favorite actor. She sang often to most any music, from showtunes to hymns. She loved to laugh at silly movies.
Laura, known to many as Jeannette, was born Aug. 2, 1924, near Electra, TX., to Archie and Dona Wilson. Many years later she would spend countless days and weeks traveling to Oklahoma to care for her adored parents, and her younger brother, Floyd Wilson.
She attended John Tarleton College, North Texas State Teachers College, and took her Registered Nurse (R.N) at Methodist Hospital Dallas with additional studies at S.M.U.
During WWII, Laura applied for overseas duty in the Cadet Nurse Corps; the war ended before she could go. At the V.A. Hospital in Temple, she met L.B., a war hero who was chaplain there. They embarked on a life-long adventure March 6, 1948, marrying in the V.A. chapel. She put aside nursing to be full-time Mother, Home-manager and church activist. L.B. transferred to the Houston V.A. in 1956. With her children well-launched, Laura returned to nursing at Houston’s Methodist Hospital.
Together L.B. and Laura decided he would transfer to the Texas Hill Country and the Kerrville V.A. in 1975, with youngest son Randy. They lived there 29 years. Mother became a night nurse, to be with her family days at the Kerrville State Hospital there. She seldom slept. After they retired, Laura and L.B. continued their romance on many overseas trips and cruises. L.B. kept preaching and Laura ran the show, did church work and advised their kids.
In their “twilight” years Mom and Dad took to the mission field to tell people of Christ, going first to American Samoa, where they started a seminary and made many friends, and later to rural Pennsylvania, where they helped troubled men get back on their feet. Mother often spoke of their full and wonderful life: “We went everywhere and did everything.”
In 2004, they moved to the Meridian retirement community in Temple where, once again, they made many friends, including Ethel, Beverly, Alex and Juana. From 2011, Laura’s obsession, often ignoring her own health, was a total dedication to caring for L.B., who died in 2013. Despite failing eyes and ears and other challenges, she was still active, the heart and leader of her family to the end. Her grieving children were at her bedside.
In lieu of flowers, Mother requested donations to the Benevolence Fund of Canyon Creek Baptist Church or Ronald McDonald House.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Laura Jeannette (Wilson) Parks, please visit our floral store.