Shirlie Parker

Shirlie Emily Ford Parker, 77, of Pine Bluff, passed away Wednesday, October 31, 2012, at Jefferson Regional Medical Center.

Born February 25, 1935, in Starkville, Miss., she was a daughter of the late Jimmy Shellie and Annie Mae Thompson Ford. She was raised and received her early education in Starkville, graduating from Starkville High School in 1954. In high school, she was an active student participating in Basketball, Track, Band, Glee Club, Future Homemakers of America and Y Teens. She also attended Mississippi State University in Starkville.

She married Dean Hovey Parker of Crosby, Miss. in 1955 at Adaton Baptist Church and moved to Natchez, Miss., where she was employed with the Natchez Chamber of Commerce. Her only child, Paula, was born in Natchez and the couple soon moved to Pine Bluff, Ark. with International Paper Company. Shirlie taught first grade at Sixth Avenue School. In 1968, the family moved to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where Shirlie taught school for Warren County Schools. The family moved back to Pine Bluff in 1978, where Shirlie was active in Watson Chapel Flower Club, the David O. Dodd Chapter of the UDC, Daughters of the American Revolution and a member of First Baptist Church.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband.

She is survived by her daughter, Paula Pryor and son in law, Jay, of Danville, Calif.; her grandchildren, Adam Pryor, of Portland, Oregon and Blake Pryor, of Houston, Texas; her brother, Jimmie Ford, of Vaiden, Miss. and her sister, Bena Ford Rigney, of Poplarville, Miss., as well as many nieces, nephews and dear friends.

A memorial service will be held at Noon on Saturday, November 10th, 2012, at the Pine Bluff Country Club at 1100 46th Avenue, Pine Bluff, Ark. The family was assisted by Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors. Friends may sign the online register at

In Lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Shirlie Ford Parker Endowed Scholarship in Horticulture, MSU Foundation, P.O. Box 6149, Mississippi State, Miss., 39762. Online donations may be made at and designate your gift for the “Shirlie Ford Parker Endowment”. Jud Nelson of the MSU Development Foundation may also be contacted directly at (662)325-0643.