Edna was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband, John B. Parker, one brother, LeRoy, as well as a brother-in-law Tryon Lowry, and a sister-in-law Flossie Harrell.
Edna graduated from Long Creek High School, Currie, NC, in May of 1940. Edna attended Emmanuel College and graduated with an associate’s degree in1942. She then received a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina Teacher’s College.
Edna began her teaching career in Benson, NC, teaching second grade and later in Bethel, NC. While attending a revival in Bethel, she began to sense a calling on her life for some type of Christian service. She put her teaching career on hold in October of 1946 and attended Holmes Bible College to prepare for ministry.
Because she had a teaching degree, Edna was asked to teach two classes at Holmes–Child Psychology and Sociology.
While at Holmes Bible College, Edna met her Prince Charming, John Parker. On June 21,1949, they were married in Garland, NC. She instantly became a pastor’s wife at the Bethel P.H. Church in Bethel, NC.
On Christmas Day 1951, John and Edna departed Garland, NC for San Jose, Costa Rica, to begin their IPHC missionary career. That career would eventually span five decades, four continents, a number of countries they would call home, and dozens more that would be touched by her ministry and gifts. During one of the furloughs, she returned to East Carolina and earned her master’s degree. By the time they retired from missionary service on December 31, 1997, they had spent 23 years in Costa Rica, eight in Hong Kong, two in Chile, and 11 in various parts of Europe. Edna’s stateside ministry included pastor’s wife, teaching jobs in
NC and in the Oklahoma City Schools, writing Sunday school curriculum, and always serving diligently at her husband’s side.
Edna’s teaching gift touched thousands of people in a multitude of cultures and languages. Her gift of hospitality was one of her best-known trademarks.
Regardless of the setting–overseas or in their homes in the U.S.–the perfectly set table was always ready.
Edna is survived by one son David B. Parker and wife Irvina of Yukon; two grandchildren: David Ryan Parker and wife Jessica of Yukon; Jennifer Nicole Parker Terry and husband Shane of Yukon; three great-grandchildren: Aubrey, Tristan, and Jasper; one brother, A. J. Harrell of Currie, NC; one sister, Brenda Brooks and husband Howard, of Pembroke, NC, numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins; and a host of friends in the US and around the world.
The family is using Mercer Adams Funeral Home in Bethany, Oklahoma, and Cromartie-Miller Funeral Home in Dunn, North Carolina. The family will be at Mercer Adams on Tuesday evening, January 10, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm to receive guests. The Oklahoma City funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 11 at River of Life Church, 6901 N.W. 150 th Street in Oklahoma City.
The family will then receive guests from 5:00 to 8:00 pm on Friday, January 13, 2017, at the Cromartie-Miller Funeral Home in Dunn, 401 Cumberland St., Dunn, NC. The funeral service in North Carolina will be held at Culbreth Memorial, 8443 Fayetteville Rd., Falcon, NC. Interment will be at Falcon Memorial Cemetery.
The family would like to thank the caregivers from Right at Home (especially Donna) for the loving care they extended to Edna both during John’s illness and with companion care for her since his passing. David and Irvina also want to thank their children for the loving care they extended. Ryan and Jessica opened their home to Grandma after losing her beloved husband of 67 years. They made that transition much easier for her. Jennifer and Shane picked Grandma up for church on Sunday and once or twice a week allowing Ryan and Jessica to stay connected to their own church. Although Edna was at the Integris Hospice House for less than 24 hours, they provided an incredible service to Edna and the family.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Costa Rican Training Center in Santa Ana, Costa Rica. Donations can be made through IPHC World Missions Ministries; PO Box 12609; Oklahoma City, OK 73157.
The Parker Family appreciates the prayers of family and friends over the past few months. With the passing of David’s Dad in July, Irvina’s sister in October, and now, David’s Mother, the loss, in less than six months, has been devastating. Without the peace and comfort from our Lord and Savior, we could not face the pain. We take our cue from 1 Thessalonians 4:13 where Paul says: “do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.” We know that our hope is in Christ Jesus. We’ll see you in the rapture.
[Editor's Comment: A gracious and loving Christian lady has finished her assignment Jesus Christ gave her and now rejoices in Heaven. She will be forever with the Lord. We who are alive and remain honor this saint who has touched all of our lives. She and John Parker were extraordinary missionaries. I am blessed to have known them and to have been on the mission field with them, and often visited in their home in Dunn, NC. I was privileged to work with John when I was president of Southwestern College.]