Eva Kay (Norton) Parkin

Eva Kay (Norton) Parkin, known to her family and friends as Kay, passed away on November 10, 2020. Kay was born on September 12,1933 in Norton’s Corners (Butler County), Iowa. She was the daughter of Howard and Margaret (Harken) Norton. She graduated from New Hartford High School in New Hartford, Iowa in 1951, going on to continue her education at Baker University, in Baldwin City, Kansas.

Kay graduated from Baker University in 1955, earning her degree in Elementary Education. As a student she was a member of the Zeta Alpha chapter of Phi Mu Sorority, serving a term as the chapter’s President. While at Baker University, Kay met her husband Larry Parkin (1934-2013). Larry and Kay married on August 21, 1955 at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, Iowa. They returned to the Little Brown Church in 2005 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Kay worked as a Second-Grade teacher at Merriam Elementary in Merriam, Kansas. Kay and Larry had two daughters, Karin and Margaret (Peggy). Over the next 35 years, Kay, Larry, and their daughters moved over a dozen times, living in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Arizona, California, Washington, and Michigan. As she raised her daughters, Kay was active in PTA, Girl Scouts, and the Boys and Girls Club.

In 1991, Larry and Kay retired and returned to Baldwin City, Kansas. Kay spent her retirement with her lifelong passions of reading, gardening, birdwatching, and enjoying the company of her family and dogs. She was active in the Tuesday Reading Club and Sunday School at Baldwin First United Methodist Church. She was an active citizen of Baldwin City, supporting her church, Habitat for Humanity, and the Humane Society. She was an active alumna of Baker University and served as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Kay dedicated her life to nurturing the abilities of her husband, children, and grandchildren.

Kay was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, her brother Howard, and her sister Elaine.

She is survived by her daughters Karin Bettis (Mike) and Peggy Keller (Matt); her grandchildren Christopher Bettis (Olive), Caroline Bettis Valentine (Nick), and Radie Keller (Micah); her younger sister Maurine Crisp (Jay); and several nieces and nephews.

A family service will be held at a later date. The family suggests donations be made to the Baldwin Community Food Pantry. Donations can be mailed to Baldwin First UMC, P.O. Box 25, Baldwin City, KS 66006.

Messages & Condolences

From Bootsie Lauridsen...

To Karin, Peggy, and Families,
I really got to know Kay when we worked together in Nancy Boyda’s campaign for US Legislature. She worked hard for what she believed in.
I will forever be grateful for her generosity which greatly helped Habitat for Humanity build a second house in Baldwin.
Kay was an informed and knowledgeable woman, and I always enjoyed conversing with her.
Living in her house now will always keep her in my mind.

With heartfelt sympathy,
Bootsie Lauridsen

From Tiffany Donohoe (with KLAH)...

It was a pleasure to get to know Kay over the past 6 months. She was gentle and kind and had such a warm smile. She was a delight to be around.

From Anne Walker...

Sincere sympathy to her family on the loss of our dear friend and longtime member.
Tuesday Reading Club

From Nellie Smith...

Karin and Peggy, I am so sorry for your loss.

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