Photography

Katherine Elizabeth Parks

March 23, 1930 ~ October 17, 2020 (age 90)

Obituary

Katherine Elizabeth Parks (Kay) passed away in Tulsa early Saturday morning, October 17, 2020 at the age of 90. Kay will be interred at Fort Gibson National Cemetery with her late husband Ray Parks. A celebration of life will be held at a later date due to COVID 19.

Born March 23, 1930 in Tulsa, Kay was the daughter of Maurice Charles Butts and Marium Cecilia (Brown) Butts. She grew up in Tulsa, attending Marquette School and Christ the King High School where she graduated with the Class of 1948. Kay and her brother Joe were a feisty set of twins. She was always taller than he, and they were always best friends until his death in 2016.

Following high school, Kay attended the University of Tulsa where she was a member of the Chi Omega sorority. A beautiful person inside and out, the Sigma Chi fraternity selected her to be their Sweetheart on campus, where she met her first husband. Kay was known to be resilient and strong while raising and providing for her four children.

Kay married Ray Parks at the First United Methodist Church in Tulsa on November 21, 1969. They were active members in the church through the years, participating in mission trips all over the world. Kay loved the Lord and is in His presence today.

Kay would also assist Ray with his employment activities while volunteering in various Southwestern Bell organizations. Ray was mostly responsible for the supervision and Kay did the hard work! Kay owned and operated several small businesses throughout her lifetime. These included a modeling school, Prayson’s Candy store, a beauty shop, and a Coleman equipment repair store. She was also a teacher for special needs children, registrar for the Oklahoma CPA Association, and worked as the office administrator for Detrick Realty. Kay also volunteered her time to several organizations such as the Tulsa County Election Board, Tulsa Air and Space Museum, and the Red Glove Review, a fundraiser for Cerebral Palsy. Ray and Kay enjoyed many years in retirement at their vacation home on Grand Lake with their houseboat.

Spunky and fashionable would be appropriate words to describe Kay Parks. Kay was also known to wear leather pants and designer boots well into her eighties! Most everyone in her life called her “Granny.” She was an active person who took up snow skiing at age 50. She was creative in the entertainment of her grandchildren. A friend described her as a sweet little spitfire. And her caregivers recall she was kind and appreciative even in her last days. Kay’s memory will be cherished by her many friends and her beloved family.

Surviving family include her children, Katheryn Pennington and husband, Charles of Tulsa, Lynn Weber and husband, Jerry of Norman, Celia Steffen and husband, Gary of Castle Rock, Colorado, and David Wiley and wife, Theresa of Dallas, Texas; thirteen grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren; her sister in law, Theresa Butts of Tulsa, and four nephews.

Kay was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ray; her twin brother, Joe Butts, and her stepson Steve Parks.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation for Veterans and their families at garysinisefoundation.org. or P.O. Box 368, Woodland Hills, CA. 91365, 888-708-7757.

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