Barbara Joan Parker, a woman who traveled the world, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning, December 14, 2023. She was 90 years old. Barbara was born and raised in Marblehead. She was the daughter of the late Arthur and Nellie Magee. She had a wonderful childhood in Marblehead and living near the sea. She was a graduate of Marblehead High School and then went to nursing school in Worcester. She met her future husband, Richard Parker, on a blind date. Dick was serving in the Air Force and was stationed in the Aleutian Islands and then at Naval Air Station in Brunswick, Maine. They married in 1954 and Barbara was able to live with him in Maine and worked as a nurse during his service time. After Dick’s military service, they lived in Woburn before settling in their forever home in Burlington. She embraced her role as mother and homemaker to her family, always there to support and encourage her children as they grew up. Much of her life was spent caring for her son, Lenny. He had been born with Down Syndrome. She always wanted the best care and for him to be somewhat independent and happy. He sadly passed away in August of this year. In her leisure time, Barbara enjoyed crossword puzzles and reading mystery novels being her favorite genre.
During the earlier years of their marriage Barbara and Richard spent considerable time with a group of close friends. Many a Saturday you would find this group together dining, dancing and partying late into the night.
Barbara caught the travel bug at an early age. There were many family vacations with her children. As time went on and her children were older, the trips became more exotic and were filled with memorable experiences. It would be easier to list the countries that she did not visit in Europe which was Wales and Yugoslavia. There were also two trips to Russia, as well as Egypt, Turkey, and Israel. There were many cruises that gave them the opportunity to visit numerous cities and countries. Some were on large cruise ships and others were on river boats traversing the Danube and Rhine rivers. She road a camel and climbed a pyramid in Egypt, walked the Way of the Cross in Jerusalem, saw Angels Falls in Venezuela. Barbara loved immersing herself in the different cultures, seeing history, trying new foods, visiting museums and experiencing events and sites firsthand. Her gregarious nature made it easy to meet new friends from all parts of the world while on tours whom she remained in contact with long after the trips were done. As bucket lists go, hers was almost empty. Barbara lived a full life that revolved around her family. They traveled, supported, and embraced life together.
Barbara was the beloved wife of 69 years of Richard Parker of Burlington. She was the loving and caring mother of Janice Bemis & her husband Charles of Billerica and the late Leonard “Lenny” Parker. She was predeceased by her siblings, Roland, Sumner, Arthur, Louise, and Carolyn Magee.
Funeral services will be held at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne on Thursday, January 4, at 11:15 AM. Memorials in Barbara’s name may be made to People Helping People, www.peoplehelpingpeopleinc.org, P.O. Box 343, Burlington, MA 01803. Arrangements by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, Burlington. For online guestbook, video tribute, and updated funeral arrangements see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net.