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Kathleen Mary Parker

February 24, 1950 — May 17, 2019

Kathleen Mary Rhodes Dunn Parker, age 69, of Towanda, PA, passed away on Friday, May 17, 2019 at the Highlands Care Center, Laporte, PA.


Kathleen was born February 24, 1950 in Towanda, PA, a daughter of the late Wesley and Elaine Smith Rhodes. It was a rare day where there was thunder, lightning, and snow.  Kathie, as she was known, attended Athens High School with the class of 1968.   She was employed for several years as a switchboard operator at Commonwealth Telephone in Towanda. She was later employed at Towanda Memorial Hospital where she began at the front desk greeting people, answering the switchboard, etc., before eventually working her way up to being the Head of Admissions at the hospital where she served in that capacity for several years before leaving due to health issues.  Her final formal employment before her health deteriorated to where she could no longer work, was at Northern Tier Counseling (formerly CSP) in North Towanda. 


Kathie married Elmer W. Parker on August 20, 1982 at her parent’s, Elaine and Paul Dorsneys’ home in Sheshequin.   They would have celebrated 37 years of marriage this August.  She had known Elmer for many years prior to their dating and marriage.  He worked for Commonwealth Telephone as well, retiring after 37 years of service when the company was purchased by Frontier. 


Kathie became a fulltime homemaker after leaving her job at NTC. She enjoyed various activities in her spare time.  Home decorating was high on her list of things she enjoyed.  She also spent time making crafts, painting, drawing, reading, shopping, gardening, and doing stained glass projects with her husband. She loved music – particularly Elton John – and her daughter and a friend surprised her by taking her to an Elton John concert at State College many years ago.  She had always said she “wanted to see Elton before she died”.  And she did. 


Kathie was also an animal lover, especially of cats.  She spent a lot of time throughout the years taking care of a multitude of cats and kittens.  She would have saved every one if only she could have.


Kathie enjoyed many other things and activities but none topped her having two very special grandchildren whom she thought the sun rose and set on, Meghanne Elayna and Reid Mitchell Parker. They were her joy and what she was most proud of.  She loved them dearly.


Kathie is survived by:  her husband, Elm (“Pierre”) of Towanda, currently residing at The Highland’s in Laporte, PA. Her daughter: Mary Elizabeth Dunn Parker Bradley (Christopher), Bogalusa, Louisiana (formerly Towanda).  Her son:   Elmer Parker (Jr) (Julia) of Logansport, Louisiana. 

And her grandchildren; Meghanne Parker and Reid Parker of Bogalusa, Louisiana (formerly Towanda).  She is also survived by her lifetime best-friend (they met in the third grade);  Linda Learn Yale (Merle) of Bentley Creek, PA.  Linda and Kathie met and grew up together in Sheshequin, PA.  Also surviving are step-grandchildren, Nicole Bradley and Donald Bradley both of Medina, Ohio.  Kathie is also survived by a younger brother of Ulster, PA and brothers and sisters in laws from Washington State.


In addition to her parents, she is predeceased by her step-father, Paul R. Dorsney of Ulster, PA; her very special Grandmother, Mildred (Mamie) Davidson Smith Spina, of Sayre and Towanda, PA; her step-grandfather, Andrew Spina; her older brother Charles Michael “Mike” Rhodes, Falls, PA; her daughter’s half-sister whom she was fond of and considered hers too, Jennifer Ann Dunn Randolph of Dallas, PA; her in-laws, Roy and Una Parker, Forks, Washington. And her former mother-in-law from her first marriage with whom she stayed close with, Eve Bahr Dunn of Towanda, PA. She also was predeceased by her dog, Bandy, her special cats, Fluffy and Clydie along with many, many other cats that she loved.


At her request, there will be no service or calling hours.  Her daughter plans to take her ashes to where she always wanted to go when she passed. 


Special thanks go to the staff at the Guthrie Personal Care Home in North Towanda; Drs. Sweet and Lockard of Guthrie Clinic; and those who cared for her at The Highlands in Laporte. 


In lieu of flowers, donations to the Animal Sanctuary in East Smithfield or the Stray Haven in Waverly would be appreciated.   Prayer cards are also welcome as are donations to any non-profit that does research or helps those suffering from post-polio syndrome.  


Playing of Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend” in her memory would also be something she would appreciate.


Arrangements are under the direction of the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore, PA 18614


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