Obituary: Rebecca Parker 1952-2021

Becky Parker—beloved wife, mother, grandmother and friend—died peacefully in her sleep in the early morning hours of Sunday, November 14, with her husband Bob at her side.

Becky was born Rebecca Pierce in Elyria, Ohio. She earned a physics degree from Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio, where she met Bob. A member of Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honor society, she received secondary education credentials to teach all sciences and math. She taught in middle and high schools in six states, and discovered that she most enjoyed teaching middle schoolers, just the opposite of her expectation.

In a classroom full of kids, she had humor but commanded respect. She collected slide rules, calculators, and funky versions of the periodic table of the elements. Her car was an electric-blue Ford Mustang, her favorite number on the license plate: pi, with a Zia symbol for the decimal point. Becky lived in Los Alamos, New Mexico, for the last 24 years, first working for Los Alamos National Laboratory and then teaching in Los Alamos and Pojoaque. She finished her teaching career in Pojoaque aiding students on the bubble and mentoring younger teachers.

A woman with style and fondness for color, Becky loved her family, her cats, and that car. She was a super-fan of films by Alfred Hitchcock, and read every book she could find about the JFK assassination. In her free time, she loved playing bridge and bunco with friends who will always remember her laugh and fondness for profanities, especially [expletive deleted]. She and Bob visited national parks, presidential libraries, and exotic locations such as French Polynesia and Fiji. They made numerous road trips, usually with their tandem bicycle, to visit friends and family around the country.

Becky was a Democrat who backed up her political beliefs with action. She is survived by her husband, an adventure partner since their first date on her 21st birthday, her children Philip and Rachel, grandchildren, mother, siblings, and one orange kitty. A celebration of her life will be held on Pi Day, March 14, 2022, in Los Alamos. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Los Alamos Visiting Nurse Service, Felines and Friends in Santa Fe, or the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.