Mass of Christian Burial for Marion Rose Parks will be held 10:00 a.m., Friday, February 10, 2023, at St. Cecelia Catholic Church. Burial will follow at Chelsea Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 1-7 p.m. Thursday, February 9, 2023, at the MMS-Payne Funeral Home Chapel with a Rosary starting at 7:00 p.m.
Marion Rose Parks passed away on Tuesday, January 31, 2023, at the age of 98.
The daughter of Dallas and Mildred (Mornson) Kniskern was born on October 19, 1924
in Rapid River, Michigan. She would spend her early childhood years in the small town named for the rapidly flowing river nearby and would graduate from Rapid River High School in 1942. While attending Northern Michigan University for an education degree in Marquette, Michigan, Marion and a friend began writing letters to U.S. service men overseas. The Navy man that she began corresponding with was James Parks from Chelsea, Oklahoma. By the time James was discharged from the military the first time on November 11, 1946; Marion had graduated from Northern Michigan University and began teaching at several communities in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. James made the trip to meet his beloved pen pal and the two were such soulmates that they married on July 23, 1949. The newlywed couple made their home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 1963, Marion and her family would move to the Claremore area where she would begin teaching at Claremont Elementary. She would continue her teaching career including receiving her master’s degree in Education from Northeastern Oklahoma State University and continued in the Claremore Public School system until retiring in 1982 to spend her days with Jim.
In her spare time, Marion had many hobbies she enjoyed. She loved arts and crafts of all kinds which were always at her fingertips. She was a loyal member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church. She was an instrumental part of the woman's auxiliary club, helping with many church bazaars and bake sales including the annual church Thanksgiving turkey dinner, and Meals on Wheels. However, it was her devotion to her family that brought her greatest joy.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Dallas and Mildred Kniskern; husband, James Parks; brother, Arthur Kniskern; sisters, June Hetzel, Mildred (Mimi) Kniskern, Alice Bergeron, and Patricia Lagina and her husband Johnny; son-in-laws, Mike Jensen and Donald Buntin and brother-in-laws Charles Parks and Arthur Parks, sister-in-laws, Pat Kniskern, Gertie Parks, and Mary Rives Dickson.
Survivors include her children, Katherine Buntin of Spring, TX, Mary LaGarde and husband Doug of Broken Arrow, OK, Anita Gravender and husband Glen of Claremore, OK, and Patricia Parks and spouse, Linda Wyllia of Claremore, OK, and James Wayne Parks of Dallas, TX; brother-in-laws, Howard Hetzel of Tomahawk, WI and Gene Parks and wife Ginny of Inola, OK; grandchildren, Amy Gann and husband Tony, Mendie Lein, Sabrina Reeves and husband Jeff, Tabitha McKenzie and partner Jay, Dana Marshall and husband Kenneth, Lauren Clarke and partner Royce, Jamie Entenza and husband Ruben, Megan Buntin, David LaGarde, Jackie Hutchison and husband Louis, and Michael LaGarde; 21 great grandkids as well as great-great grandkids, nieces, nephews and many others of her extended family who she loved like her own.
Memorials, in lieu of flowers, may be made to St. Cecilia Women’s Club.
View and sign Marion's online memorial at www.mmsfuneralhomes.com