PARHAM—Reta Parham passed away peacefully June 13, 2013, at home while surrounded by family who loved her dearly.
Reta was born Feb. 8, 1927, in Portland, Ore. At age 5, she was adopted by Lillian and John Sievertsen and moved to Eugene, where she attended school. Her family moved to Washington her senior year and she graduated from Wenatchee High School.
Reta married Byron Pengra and they had five children. She worked side by side with Byron in the ice cream stores they operated in the Eugene and Springfield areas. She was a wonderful homemaker, a loving mother and a lot of fun.
Later, the family moved to Florence. Mom loved to dance and often had her children laughing and dancing the “Jitterbug” with her. As her children got older, Mom became a “camper extraordinaire.” Weekends and summers were spent at Mercer Lake in Florence with tents, campfires, swimming and water skiing.
We have many memories of pancakes cooked over an open fire on a foggy drizzly morning on the Oregon coast.
Reta also worked as a caregiver. She was a physical therapy assistant at Western Lane Hospital and the Siuslaw Care Center in Florence. Later, after moving to Coos Bay, she worked as a physical therapy assistant at St. Catherine’s nursing facility, where she made many good friends with the sisters and the many special patients she cared for.
She made friends wherever she was and was a faithful and supportive friend to many in New Edinburg as well as her home in Florence.
After her marriage ended, Reta met “Pat” Kendrick Parham. She liked to say he was the love of her life. They had mutual friends and both liked to dance. They married on Feb. 8, 1978, in Arkansas, where they moved to live in the Parham family home.
Reta was a supportive and caring wife to Pat and they had more than 25 good years together. From their home base, they traveled the United States in a motor home for many years and often spent their summers back in Florence.
Pat and Reta are members of the United Methodist Church in Fordyce, Ark. Mom was active in the Women’s Circle and enjoyed her time there.
Reta is survived by her husband Pat, and her children. Family includes: son Bob Pengra and wife Lynne, with daughters Stepanie and Jessica; daughters include Sue Scarberry and husband Dan, with son Jeff Scarberry and daughter Toni Zaback; Joyce and Eric Rines with sons Jordan Hoberg and Nate Rines, and daughters Jenna Hoberg and Danyel Rines; daughter Karen Russell and Tim McGinnis, along with Karen’s daughter Kelcee Pengra and son Justin Russell; Teresa Andrson and sons Jon, Nick, and Steven Fargher; step-daughter Susan Shay-Johnson and husband Dean, with daughter Erin and son Scott; step-son William and Colleen Parham.
Reta had 10 great-grandchildren.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at the Methodist Church in Florence on June 24, beginning at 2 p.m.
Memorial contributions can be made to Peace Harbor Hospital in Florence.
Burns’s Riverside Chapel Florence Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
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