Gladys Parker

Gladys Parker
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Beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, Gladys Ann (Weidemann) Parker, of Swansea, IL, died peacefully in her sleep on August 11, 2022, at the age of 89.  Our Mom, the matriarch of the exceptionally large and fun-loving Parker family, was the high school homecoming queen in her native New Athens, IL, and soon after married the love of her life and spent the next 67 years creating a loving home that never knew a stranger.

Mom was a living textbook for being a devoted wife, an exceptional mother, and a nurturing grandmother and great-grandmother. She taught us the importance of family and showed us how it should function, the inspiration it provided, and, of course, how to raise our own. By her actions and words, she encouraged us to be the best we could be and touched our hearts in ways few others ever could. Her smile was incredibly contagious and would often be seen as she beamed with pride just watching her family interact during the holidays and at other gatherings. Her 89 years of wisdom, guidance, and caregiving is reflected in each and every one of her children and grandchildren. She loved to play the lottery – but not for herself – noting “it is too late for me, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if I won for all of you?”

Affectionately known as Aunt Glad to her many nieces and nephews, nobody loved delivering or receiving a good joke more than Mom. Through her wonderful sense of humor, she always made us laugh and smile.  And the sweetness of that smile was a gateway to the kindness of her heart, a heart that steadfastly guided her to one of the most selfless lives this world has ever known, dedicated to serving others in general and her family in particular. Her ability to love unconditionally, to care without judgment, and to teach us the best that life has to offer made her universally loved by all who knew her across every generation. Mom was truly in a league of her own. She embodied all the best of humanity and will live in our hearts forever.

Mom was preceded in death by her loving husband of 63 years, Donald Francis Parker; children, Ann Marie, Donald Joseph, and Dean David; her parents, Alvin and Esther Weidemann; and siblings, Myrtle Winter, Marie Richards, Hazel Studer, and Virgil, Wesley, Maurice, and Alvin Weidemann.

Mom is survived by her siblings, Doris Politsch, Alice Mentel, Nadine Rowald, Joyce (Larry) Scace, and Wayne (Carol) Weidemann; and her children, David (Keturah), Studio City, CA and children, Denzel and Shadel; Dan (Sharon), N. Little Rock, AR and children, Matt (Kristi), Mallory (Logan), Brittany (Amasia), and Haley (Landon); Mary Barger, Belleville, IL and children, Ann (Cullen), Danny (Katie), and Charlotte; Linda (Tom) Quiros, Belleville, IL and children, Tommy, Michael, and Andrew; Dennis (Julie), Swansea, IL and children, Wyatt, Don, Evan, and Sydney; Joyce (Brian) Michel, Fontana, WI and children, Jessica, Parker, and Sean; Beverly Parker, O’Fallon, IL and children, Audrey, Natalie, and Emily; Derek (Rosa), Glendora, CA and children, Karina, Ryan, Hannah, and Bianca; and Dale (Melissa), Belleville, IL and children, Auggie, Dash, and Rhett; grandsons, Adam Parker of DeLand, FL (son of the late Donald Joseph Parker); and Jon (son of the late Dean David Parker); and great-grandchildren, Violet and Parker Brumm, Barrett and Brinkley Brown, and Clyde Grant. As you can see, family was her life!

Mom will also be dearly missed by the many friends of her children and grandchildren who also came to know and love her.

Memorials may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church, Belleville, IL Condolences and the sharing of tributes, including your favorite tasteful joke, may be expressed at

Visitation: Friends may visit from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, August 16, 2022, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Funeral:  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9 a.m. Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at St. Mary Catholic Church, Belleville, IL.

Burial will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO.



10 Comments on Gladys Parker

Dan Parker said : Guest Report Aug 20, 2022 at 7:35 PM

Thank you all so very much for sharing your sympathy, kind words, and tributes to Mom. It takes a very special, tirelessly unselfish, and kind and loving person to touch so many hearts and be so universally loved. I am so happy to have made it to the hospital from Arkansas in the wee hours of the morning before Mom died. My last words to her were "You did good, Mom!" She certainly did!

  • North Little Rock
  • AR
Joan and Jim Dohle said : Guest Report Aug 20, 2022 at 3:33 PM

Our prayers and deepest sympathies to the Parker family for your loss. Mrs Parker was a very friendly person and we used to enjoy seeing her at Mass at St Mary’s

  • Fairview Heights
  • IL
Susan Bauer Kutterer said : Guest Report Aug 15, 2022 at 12:26 PM

My sympathy to the Parker family and her friends. I enjoyed a wonderful visit with her and Don a couple years ago. The stories they shared and the love of family was their pride and joy. What a special lady Gladys was. What a very lucky family to have her for so long. RIP great Aunt Gladys

  • Waterloo
  • IL
Adam Parker said : Guest Report Aug 15, 2022 at 11:41 AM

I really didn't get to spend any true quality one on one time with Grandma until these past few years, and they were great! When I came to visit her, I would always bring one her favorite snacks, fortune cookies. She liked the fortunes more than the cookies, always reading every word and checking the back to see if her and Grandpa's numbers were on there. Everyone will always immediately remember her by her golden smile, but when she got a fortune that she felt didn't make any sense, was just plain stupid, or even worse, no fortune inside at all, that smile would slowly turn into one of funniest looks of disdain and disappointment that one could ever see, like something out of comedy movies, which she also really loved. One or both of us would make a wise crack about the "what a loser cookie," and her smile would immediately return. We spent most of our time exchanging jokes and watching the game show network. I truly enjoyed every moment and will cherish those memories always. Other than her awesome sense of humor all the way up to 89, she was also super sharp! I'd say that's due to her love of reading. Every day, she was reading something, a book, a magazine, and her favorite I believe, the newspaper. She would truly read every word in every daily paper. I'm sure the kids will agree, that one of the cutest things to walk in on, was Grandma in her chair, feet propped up, snuggled up in that red blanket, and reading the paper so intently, that she didn't even know you walked in until you said something out loud. Once she heard you, she would always look up smiling, so genuinely happy that you were there to see her and be with her. Those are priceless great moments. In closing, I get a really good smile and sense of peace when I think about Grandma with Grandpa, my dad, Dean and Ann. What a super crew they are! I can only imagine what kind of good times they're all having together now. My Grandma, Gladys Parker, was a genuine class act, my buddy, and a true one of a kind sweet soul. You'll be missed by many Grandma, I'll love you, and all the Catawba Crew always. P.S. - I'll be talking to you all everyday at some point, and I'll always be on the lookout for jokes that I know you all would love!:)

  • DeLand
  • FL
Dave Sondag said : Guest Report Aug 15, 2022 at 8:53 AM

Heaven is an even brighter place today with Aunt Glad’s smile She was everybody’s favorite. Love you all, cousins.

  • Carlsbad
  • CA
Cynthia Maue said : Guest Report Aug 15, 2022 at 7:42 AM

Dear Granma, I'll never forget the first time I met you. Don brought his new girlfriend home to meet the family . Your gracious smile, kind heart and bevy of gorgeous children were impressive, indeed. The only one not present, was little Ann. Being the consumately devoted and loving mother, you introduced her to me, through her photograph and story of her brief life. The sum total of you and that evening imprinted my soul forever. I never came to your home again, without going to Ann's photo to quietly express my love and grief for a child I came to know through her mother's dignified heartbreak.I simply adore you, Granma. Adam was so blessed to have you, as his best buddy. As a grown man, he never waivered in his commitment to your smiling face, the laughs you shared and the strength you displayed, through some very tough moments. He considered you, as his sweet little girl on whom he loved to dote. He planned every little detail of your weekly visits to custom fit the little desires of your heart. It made him feel privileged to love you as your first born grandson and later as his dad's emissary, so that you always knew you were the queen of both their hearts. Now, sadly for us left to miss you, God has granted the desires of your heart, that only He could grant; to be reunited with Don, Ann, Don and Dean. What a beautiful sight it would have been to see. You've gone ahead of us and we look forward to our reunion with all of you, too. The earth lost an angel, but heaven gained a queen. You are beloved, forever.

  • DeLand
  • Fl.
Char Michel said : Guest Report Aug 14, 2022 at 2:24 PM

Dear Parker Family, What a wonderful tribute to your wonderful mother. She was a special lady. Gladys and your family are in my prayers always. You all are blessed with memories of your Mom and Dad. Cherish. Char and Jim

  • Fontana
  • WI
Joan Sondag Sherman said : Guest Report Aug 14, 2022 at 9:22 AM

I am so sorry for your loss of this wonderful woman. The first time I really remember seeing her was at their wedding. I was about 6 years old. In her bridal gown with long flowing hair, she was the most beautiful princess I had ever seen. Later I came to know her as my loving and fun Aunt Glad. God bless you cousins.

  • Olathe
  • Kansas
Charlotte Wimpe said : Guest Report Aug 14, 2022 at 6:25 AM

What a beautiful tribute to your Mom. Have known some of her children since Kloury days. Rest in peace Gladys!

  • Belleville
  • IL
Mary Sondag said : Guest Report Aug 13, 2022 at 11:21 PM

My aunt by marriage to Al Sondag (son of Agnes Parker Sondag, sister of Don), she and her children have been a bright light in my life for 40 years. She was Al's favorite aunt, hands down, and we will miss her forever but have the sweetest memories to sustain us. Give our love to those who have waited for you in Heaven, Aunt Gladys.

  • San Clemente
  • CA

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