Thelma F. Parsons, age 93, went to be with her Lord on January 11, 2015 in Raleigh, NC. To her family, Thelma was a devoted, loving wife, dedicated mother, caring grandmother and great-grandmother. To her peers, she was a consummate professional, dynamic leader, and the “go-to” person to get things done right. To her friends, she was the gracious hostess, intimate friend, and an angel to those who God placed in her path. Balancing her family, her career, her Christian service, and her community involvement, she was truly a role model of a life well lived.
Thelma was born in Lawrence, MA on January 23, 1921, the daughter of the late John and Victoria Fusco. She is preceded in death by her two brothers, Louis Fusco and Vincent Fusco, and a sister, Anna Mercury.
Thelma graduated from Lawrence High School and St. John’s Hospital School of Nursing in Lowell, MA. For the final six months of her nursing training, she volunteered as a nurse in the Cadet Nurse Corp, serving with Lowell General Hospital at Fort Devens in Ayer, MA. There, on Ward 135, Thelma met her future husband, SSGT. Guy S. Parsons.
Following a two-year courtship, Thelma and Guy were married on November 2, 1946. Their life-long love affair was the epitome of what a marriage is supposed to be. After 68 years of marriage, they were still on their honey-moon. God blessed them with each other and then poured His love into them, which they shared with each other.
In addition to a very successful marriage, Thelma enjoyed a successful career as a Registered Nurse, working in West Virginia, Tennessee, and Raleigh, NC. She was Supervisor of the Obstetrical Nursing Department at Wake Memorial Hospital when it opened and held that position until she was promoted to Director of In-Service and Continuing Education at Wake Memorial, where she served the hospital for 17 years until her retirement in January 1983. She was a significant contributor in the early years of the WakeMed Health System.
For her dedication and contributions to the medical profession, Thelma was selected as the 1967 “Nurse of the Year” by District 13 of the N.C. State Nurses’ Association. In 1976, she received the Whitaker Memorial Award from the American Cancer Society for her volunteer work. She was inducted into the Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Key Women Educators, serving as the local chapter’s President for 2 years. Thelma was also active in the community as a member of the N.C. State University Woman’s Club
Thelma was a strong Christian and lived each day in faith. She was an active member of Edenton Street United Methodist Church and the Cokesbury-Isley adult education class since 1956. She served as President of the class and also taught in the Junior Department, as well as being active in the Methodist Women. Her deep faith was evident in the way she lived her life for others.
Thelma is survived by her husband, Guy S. Parsons of Raleigh, and her two sons, David W. Parsons and his bride, Donna, of Tarpon Springs, FL and Dr. James S. Parsons, who was heavily influenced by his Mom’s love of medicine. She is survived by her sister-in-laws Naomi Slusser of Stafford, NY and Janet Goff of Raleigh. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Andrea M. Wolf and her husband, Bill, Jennifer C. Moore and her husband, Michael, James S. (Dan) Parsons, Jr. and his wife, Perry Cooper, Elizabeth Anne Parsons, Kyle J.S. Parsons and his wife, Andrea, and her step-grandchildren, Christopher Galvanek and Casey Galvanek, as well as her great-grandchildren, Ian Moore, Connor Moore, Jack Wolf, Thomas Wolf, and Isla Juliet Parsons.
The family is grateful to the staff of The Oaks at Whitaker Glen for their loving care and service, with a special thanks to Shirley Blackwell for her friendship and support. The family is especially grateful to Penny Ruocchio for her years of caregiving and devotion. Most of all, the family wants to acknowledge the extended family and friends for their continued love and support throughout Thelma’s life. They gave meaning to all of who she was and what she did.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made either to the Music Ministry at Edenton Street United Methodist Church, 228 East Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27603 or to Transitions LifeCare, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
A memorial service to celebrate Thelma’s life is being planned for Saturday, May 23, 2015 at 11:00 AM at Edenton Street United Methodist Church to be following by internment in the church’s columbarium garden with a luncheon to follow for all of Thelma’s friends, guests, and relatives in attendance.
Arrangements are being coordinated by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home on St. Mary’s Street in Raleigh. Online condolences and memories may be offered at www.brownwynne.com