CARRIE BELLE PATRICK-PARKER
A girl child was born in Youngstown, Ohio, on the fifth Tuesday of July in 1924 in the middle of the Silent Generation. They named her Carrie Belle though for a while they called her “Jim” because her father wanted a boy child. Within her first two years of life, she and her family moved to Tuskegee, Alabama, where the Patrick Family lived on Auburn Road.
She spent quality time with her grandparents in Tuskegee; in fact, she was the only grandchild who could vividly remember Grandpa Ben. They would sit on the back steps of the house most mornings. He would share with her bread he had dipped in his cream-laden coffee. He actually shared more than coffee-soaked bread, he offered his wisdom and values that would shape and inform her life as a learner and a leader.
Her aunts Inez, Sadie, and Bessie were discerning and realized her intellectual curiosity. They gave her all they could teach and their combined efforts enabled her to skip kindergarten and enter school as a first grader. She attended Washington Public School and the Chambliss Children’s House where she excelled at writing, music, and geography. She graduated from Tuskegee Institute High School and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Tuskegee Institute.
She was responsible, understanding, and aware from an early age. As the eldest child, she supported her mother in raising her siblings, doing everything from cooking to cleaning with efficiency and flair. She spent many Saturdays baking pound cakes to accompany her mother’s homemade ice cream. She grew into a decidedly intriguing blend of firm and fair, sweet and spirited, direct and demure. The lessons she learned then were carried into her professional life.
She ventured to Cleveland for work as an educator; however, instead of equality and inclusion, she encountered segregation and racism. She searched and found work with the United States Navy in the Payroll Department. Eventually, she became an inspector with the Chase Brass and Copper Company. One day while heading to work, she met her husband-to-be, Robert, a driver with the Cleveland Transit System. They married at St. Edward Catholic Church Rectory in 1946. They welcomed their only son, Michael Robert, in 1953.
She eventually gave the educational arena a second chance. She taught home economics at Catholic High School all while commuting to pursue certification in Vocational Home Economics from Akron University. She retired in 1990 as a Family and Consumer Science teacher having taught 12 years at Catholic High and 22 years in the public school system. She did not mince words with her students and they valued her wisdom and insights as much as her discipline and candor.
She thoroughly relished retirement and used this mantra for guidance: “Never go to extremes, halt!” Although the goal was moderation, she did not slow down. She took a basic course in photography, she learned Spanish, she took swimming classes, she traveled, and she kept her mind ever-sharp and ever-ready by reading as much as possible. She lived. She loved. She learned.
On December 7, 2020, Carrie Belle Patrick-Parker transitioned from this earth-plane into eternity. She was preceded in death by her parents, James D. and Corrine Patrick; and her siblings, James O. Patrick II, Frederick (Freddie) Patrick, Louise Patrick Reid, and her son, Michael Parker. Her memory will be cherished by her siblings, Juanita Patrick-Carroll (Missouri), Eula Patrick-Stafford (Texas), and Theodore Patrick (New Jersey). Her legacy of living and learning will be sustained by the students she taught over her 34 years of service to parochial and public education. Others who are thankful to have known her are the members of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church, her nieces and nephews, extended family, friends, and loved ones.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her memory to “Womankind”, an organization that provideshope, help, and possibility to women and their families www.womankindcleveland.org
Carrie B. Parker (nee Patrick), age 96 of Cleveland, OH. Longtime member of Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church of Cleveland, OH. Beloved wife of the late Robert H. Parker; loving mother of the late Michael R. Parker; dear sister of Juanita Patrick Carroll of St. Louis, MO, Eula Patrick-Stafford of Prairie View, TX, Theodore R. Patrick of Morristown, NJ, the late James O. Patrick, II, the late Louise Patrick Reid, and the late Frederick D. Patrick; also survived by a host of nieces, nephews, friends and former students.
The family prefers that those who wish may make contributions in her name to Womankind, 5350 Transportation Blvd. Ste 18, Garfield Hts., OH 44125. A Funeral Service will be held on Monday, December 21 at 11am, preceded by a viewing from 9-11am. Interment, Lake View Cemetery.
To send flowers to Carrie's family, please visit our floral store.
5350 Transportation Blvd., Ste 18, Garfield Heights OH 44125