The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


January 17, 2013

Natalie Engelke Parker

Natalie Engelke Parker passed from this life to be with her Lord and loved ones on Jan. 15, 2013 at Oak Village Healthcare after a long battle with dementia.

Natalie was born Oct. 5, 1923 in Palestine, Texas. She was the only child of Walter Henry and Eula Belle Layne Engelke.  

She married James Nelson “Buddy” Parker Jr. on Sept. 12, 1943.  Natalie, Buddy, and daughters Celia Frances and Joyce Louise moved from Palestine to Lake Jackson in 1956. She finished her college education at the University of Houston and taught fourth grade at A.P. Beutel Elementary for 20 years, before retiring in 1983.

Natalie was a quiet, gentle and devoted Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and teacher. She loved to play piano, cook, garden, fish, play bridge, square dance, spend time with her family, and served the community as a Girl Scout leader and Brazosport Regional Hospital Pink Lady. She was a devoted member of First United Methodist Church and participated in Methodist Women.  

She is survived by daughter and son-in-law, Frances and H.N. Bitter of Lake Jackson; and son-in-law, Jim Tankersley of Ridgecrest, Calif.; five grandchildren, David Bitter of Lake Jackson, Dennis Tankersley and wife Krysta of Beaumont, Calif., Jennifer Rickets and husband Cory of Ridgecrest, Calif., Katie Tankersley of Chico, Calif., and Ben Tankersley of San Jose, Calif.; and one great-grandson, David Parker Tankersley of Beaumont, Calif.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, James Nelson “Buddy” Parker; and daughter, Joyce Louise Tankersley.

The family wishes to thank all the caretakers at Oak Village Healthcare and IAP Hospice for their loving care of Natalie.

The Rev. Ross Poteet will officiate at services held at Restwood Funeral Home at 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2013.             .    

Pallbearers will be Ben Townes, Benny Morgan and Horace Driskill.  

Interment will follow at Roselawn Park Cemetery in Palestine on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m.  

In lieu of flowers Natalie requested that contributions be made to your favorite charity.


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