Mary Parks Keen, 93, of Kenosha joined her beloved husband and daughter in heaven on Monday, October 24, 2022.
Mary was born to Micagah and Ettye (Dockery) Parks on December 6, 1928 in High Point, NC and grew up in the Elkin/Zephyr area, which she not-so-fondly referred to as “the sticks.” After graduating from Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, she worked for a year and then attended the Charlotte Memorial School of Nursing, graduating in 1949. It was while working at Charlotte Memorial as a Head Nurse that she was introduced to her future husband, Bill Keen, by his sister-in-law.
In November 1954, she retired from nursing and traveled to Mexico to marry Bill, who was working in the Mexico City Office of Union Carbide. Following the February 1956 birth of their first child, Kathryn Juanita, they moved to Charlotte, NC. Their second child, Mary Elizabeth, arrived in October 1957.
Mary was all about family and was a legendary wife and mother. Her husband’s job took them to Westlake, OH, where her backyard was a popular gathering place for the neighborhood kids. Later in life she returned to Charlotte, then moved to Williamsburg, VA and finally to Kenosha to be near her daughter.
She enjoyed playing Solitaire on her iPad, watching CNN and reading her Bible. She was a woman of faith with a self-deprecating sense of humor and strength beyond compare. Whatever life threw at her, including two bouts with lung cancer, she powered through and enjoyed all of her amazing doctors.
She spent her final years at Azura Memory Care where she absolutely loved her caregivers. As a former nurse, she regularly told them she was too heavy for them to be lifting her and was always excited to hear when someone was going to continue their education.
Mary is survived by her daughter, Mary; four nieces, Miriam Leah Zwillich, Sigrid Marks, Carol Young, Gloria Marcus; three nephews, Larry Parks, Charlie Parks and Mike Parks and very special grandnephew, Nathan Zwillich. She was preceded in death by her daughter, Kathryn in 1957; her beloved husband, Bill in 1978; her parents; her sister, Juanita Holloway and her brothers, Mack Parks, Harold Parks, Bill Parks and Bob Parks as well as her feline grandson, Mr. Big.
Service Date November 4, 2022
Service Location Piasecki Funeral Home
Memorial services honoring Mary’s life will be held at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 4, 2022 at the Piasecki Funeral Home, 3720 39th Ave., Kenosha, WI.
Interment will take place in North Carolina in 2023.
A gathering of relatives and friends will be held on Friday, November 4, 2022 from 2:00 p.m. until the time of the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Kindred Kitties are requested to honor this life-long lover of cats and animals.