Beatrice Anne Browning Parker, 94, died of Covid-19 on September 8 during the recent outbreak of the virus at Brookdale South Bay, in South Kingstown, RI. She was born in Wakefield, RI on January 22, 1926, the daughter of the late Mary Williams Browning and the late Dr. Harold W. Browning. She was the sister of the late Harold W. Browning, Jr. and the late Ralph W. Browning. She is survived by her brother David G. Browning of Kingston; her daughter Mary Elizabeth (Betsy) Parker and husband Victor Steinhardt of Eugene, OR; daughter Carolyn (Parker) Maxwell and her husband Brian and grandchildren Corey Maxwell of Wakefield and Emily Maxwell of Kingston; and son J. Peter Parker, Jr. and his wife Rosalie of Fair Oaks, CA, and their children Phaelen Parker, his wife Crystal, and their children Sierra and Baxter; and Sharma Miller, her husband Alex, and their children Maya, Fiona and Aidan, and many nieces and nephews.
She was a gifted student. Entering college at sixteen, she graduated as a member of the University of Rhode Island Class of 1945 at nineteen, with a degree in chemistry. She joined the American Red Cross after college and traveled extensively in Europe while based in postwar Berlin. In 1949, she married Joseph P. Parker, who was an officer in the United States Army for 22 years. They traveled the world, visited all fifty states and moved to different military bases many times, recreating a new home and family life each time. Many would be amused to know that, as much of the world as she had seen in her life, this Rhode Islander had never been to Block Island. After retirement from Army life, she returned home to Kingston, where she became a dedicated elementary school teacher. Later, after returning to URI and earning a Master’s degree in Library Science, she became a media specialist for the North Kingstown School Department.
Born in the same year as Queen Elizabeth II, she had a lifelong interest in England’s reigning monarch and collected books about the Royal Family. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and the Daughters of the American Revolution. Throughout her life, she was an avid volunteer. With her love of scouting, she would enthusiastically step up as troop leader or den mother for her children. She was an excellent seamstress and knitter, and founded sewing and knitting groups to “Make a Difference” by donating hundreds of blankets, quilts, hats and mittens to South County Hospital, Peace Dale library fundraisers, and other charitable organizations. She was a devoted friend to many, and through her giving nature accomplished much for her family and friends. Strength, devotion, courage, compassion and determination come to mind as we remember the life of a remarkable woman. She will always remain in our hearts.
According to her wishes, her body has been donated to Brown University Medical School. Since she so often helped others during her lifetime, contributions in her memory sent to the American Red Cross, 209 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06032 or at redcross.org would be deeply appreciated. For guest book and condolences, averystortifuneralhome.com.