Paulette Mae Parker of Arcadia, Mo., entered into eternal rest on Thursday, November 23, 2023, at the age of 76 after winning her three-year battle with cancer.
She was born seven minutes after her best friend and identical twin sister, Pauline, on July 22, 1947, in Honolulu, Hawai’i. The twins joined their feisty older sister, April, and were later joined by their only brother, Nelson, and years later their baby sister, Debbie.
Daughter of Kenichi and Yoshiko Fukuhara, Paulette was raised in the small island community of Kekaha, Kauai, Hawai’i, where she learned hula, spoke pidgin, and first developed her longstanding relationship with Jesus. After graduating from Waimea High School in 1965, Paulette moved to Missouri to attend college at Southwest Baptist College where she earned her teaching degree.
She dedicated almost 40 years of her life to serving families as an elementary teacher and aide for Arcadia Valley Schools. Just as important to her were the 50 years she spent teaching children the stories and ways of Jesus at her church home, First Baptist Church of Ironton, where she served as a Sunday School and Vacation Bible School teacher.
Paulette was a creative and dedicated educator whose passion for teaching was only matched by her passion for learning about and serving Christ.
After beating him in bowling on their first date, Paulette married square dancing and parachute extraordinaire Ron Parker on July 15, 1972. They spent 51 years traveling, laughing, growing, and setting the perfect example of sacrificial and devoted love to all who knew them. Ron and Paulette welcomed their self-proclaimed favorite child, Jeremy, in 1978 and their much more humble daughter, Nikki Thomas (Steve) in 1981. In recent years Paulette’s time was occupied along the sidelines and in the audience as the biggest fan of her grandchildren Lanie and Roman. She loved following their adventures and took great pride in being able to watch them grow up.
Paulette is lovingly remembered by special relatives Rosa Voyles and family, and many more loving family members, church family members, friends, and past students.
A visitation for friends and family to gather will be held on Friday, December 1, 2023 from 3-5 p.m. with a Celebration of Life beginning at 5 p.m., both at First Baptist Church Ironton. Friends and family are invited to stay immediately after the Celebration of Life for refreshments.
Pastor Ryan Nichols will be officiating the services.
In lieu of flowers, friends and family are encouraged to mail a supportive and uplifting card to someone on your mind in Paulette’s honor and memory. This was a favorite hobby of Paulette’s, and her family would love people to follow her footsteps in this small but meaningful gesture.