GREENSBORO – Anne Sangree Parke, 92, died on July 29 at her home on Caspian Lake. She had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer ten days earlier and spent that time saying goodbye to treasured friends and family.
Born in 1928 in Barre, Anne grew up in Wellsville, N.Y., and spent summers with her extended family on Spahr Road in Greensboro. She graduated from Smith College in 1950, then received a master’s degree in sociology at Brown University, where she had a teaching fellowship teaching returning vet undergrads who were older than she was.
She “married an old friend” as she liked to say, Robert Parke Jr., in 1952 and moved to New Brunswick, N.J., where she taught sociology at New Jersey College for Women (now Douglas College). In 1959, she and Bob moved to Washington, D.C., where Anne joined the board of directors for the D.C. League of Women Voters. As a delegate to the national convention in Minneapolis the summer of 1962, she urged the convention to support D.C. voting rights and Congressional representation.
Anne and Bob bought a house in Virginia in the fall of 1962, and Anne was soon involved in cooperative preschools as carpool driver, mother’s helper, admissions chairman, scheduler, newsletter editor and president. She found keeping 50 families and three teachers happy was good practice for her later job as a corporate paralegal, working for five attorneys. When her children graduated from preschool, Anne became active in the PTA and represented them on the Fairfax County Child Care Advisory Council. She worked avidly to encourage the county to offer training and support to private day care centers and homes. She also served on the Commission for Children, which led to the establishment of many after-school programs for elementary schools.
When her youngest child entered fourth grade, Anne went back to work part-time, first as a bookkeeper and then as a legal assistant on a patent infringement case. This prompted her to go back to school to earn a paralegal certificate and work at a large D.C. law firm, Crowell and Moring, for 14 years.
Anne and Bob enjoyed traveling in their retirement. When Bob died in 1998, Anne continued to travel with friends from Little River Congregational Church in Annandale, Va. When she traveled alone, she enjoyed Elderhostels, particularly in New Zealand.
In 2018, Anne moved to Copley Woodlands in Stowe. She continued to spend each summer in Greensboro and was a dedicated associate member of the Greensboro United Church of Christ.
Anne was a supporter of libraries, and an enthusiastic reader all of her life, enjoying the work of Isabel Wilkerson and Mary Oliver in recent years. She participated in a number of book groups and poetry groups, with friends old and new.
Anne cultivated sustaining relationships throughout her life and maintained a yearly gathering with her Smith friends until recently. She valued her friendships, and especially reveled in the loving relationships of family — her siblings, children, grandchildren, and her beloved nieces and nephews. Anne was a source of love and support to the younger generations of her family, for whom she enjoyed hosting many holiday dinners over the years.
Survivors include Anne’s siblings and their spouses, Hu and Gail Sangree of Watertown, Conn., and Jenny and David Stoner of Craftsbury Common. She was predeceased by her brother Charlie and his wife Betty of Maplewood, N.J. Anne is also survived by three children, Jenny of Baltimore, Md.; Robert of North Wilkesboro, N.C.; and Mary Meyer of Hardwick, as well as Mary’s husband Andrew, and children Lila and Fenton.A graveside service will be held for Anne on Saturday, August 7, at 1 p.m., at the Lincoln-Noyes Cemetery in Greensboro. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the Jeudevine Memorial Library building fund, in Hardwick, or to the Greensboro UCC. Condolences and memories may be conveyed to Anne’s family at dgfunerals.com.