WILLISTON – Ilene E. Parker, 69, passed away on August 4, after a long battle with kidney disease. Born on April 19, 1952, in Hardwick, Ilene grew up in Walden, with her parents, Myrtle Rogers and Otis McKinstry Sr., and her sister and brothers.
Ilene married Denis Robert Parker on May 22, 1971. The couple built their own home on a plot of farmland in Woodbury near Denis’ childhood home, where they lived and raised two sons, Jonathan and Douglas, until moving to Williston in 2013.
Ilene was a stay-at-home mom and in-home seamstress who sewed fine ladies’ jackets with Vermont-made custom fabrics. She also served as an EMT on the Hardwick Rescue Squad for a number of years. Ilene coached her sons’ baseball teams, was a fixture at elementary school activities, and served with the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Catholic Daughters of America. During their retirement years, Ilene was the navigator riding shotgun over countless miles in the couples’ motorhome during the cold Vermont winters as they ventured to warmer and more sunny destinations such as New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Georgia, and Florida.
Eventually, the couple found a Florida home that they returned to year after year in New Smyrna Beach where Ilene loved to walk the beaches and listen to the ocean waves. Ilene enjoyed sewing quilts and pajamas for her grandchildren when they were younger and cheering them on from the sidelines of their athletic competitions as they grew up, and from afar.
Ilene was an important woman to the many who called her wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, neighbor, and friend. She is survived by her son Jonathan Parker, daughter-in-law Carolyn Kuranz, and grandchildren Nina and Elliot of Ann Arbor, Mich.; her son Douglas Parker, daughter-in-law Julie (Fradette) Parker, and grandsons Nicholas and Jaden of St. George; her sister Lucille and her husband, Richard Jewett of Black Creek, N.C.; her brother Lyle and his wife Janet McKinstry of Montpelier; and brother Otis “Sonny” McKinstry Jr. and his wife Sylvia. Ilene was predeceased by her beloved husband, Denis, and her brother Neil McKinstry.
The family would like to thank the caregivers and volunteers at the McClure-Miller Respite House for their compassion and support. A wake was held Sunday, August 8, from 5 to 7 p.m., at des Groseilliers Funeral Home, 97 Church Street, Hardwick. The memorial service was held Tuesday, August 10, at 10 a.m., at the Williston Federated Church, North Williston Road, Williston. Burial at Fairview Cemetery in Calais was Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.