Gladys Sueko Parks, 91, of Gettysburg, died Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, at Transitions Healthcare in Gettysburg.
She was born July 22, 1928, in Japan, the daughter of the late Kametoku and Kame Tomei.
Ms. Parks was a member of the Prince of Peace Episcopal Church. She was a graduate of St. Francis Hospital School of Nursing in Honolulu, Hawaii, attended the University of Wisconsin and earned a bachelor of science degree from New York University in 1961. Gladys was a registered nurse holding degrees in Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Ohio, New York, and Wisconsin.
Gladys began her career as a nurse epidemiologist in communicable disease for the State of Hawaii. She was also a psychiatric nurse in the Forensic Unit, Substance Abuse Counseling for the State of Hawaii. In 1967, she moved to Pennsylvania and became a rural nurse for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Health and in 1979 was promoted to Public Nurse Director for two county areas.
Ms. Parks was appointed to the Pennsylvania Governor’s Council for Drug and Alcohol and the Regional Hemophilia Foundation Task Force.
Gladys was also an active volunteer serving as a Vista volunteer in Oregon working with the homeless, was a volunteer at St. Michaels Activities Department in Emmitsburg, Md., for three years and, in the summer of 1960, was part of a Quaker team with UNESCO working with health organizations in Mexico.
In Gettysburg, Gladys was active in the community involved with Family Planning and was a founding member of the Drug and Alcohol Council. She also was a Regional Representative for the Pennsylvania Health Agency and a member of Insight Meditation group of Gettysburg.
She wrote and read poetry at various venues around town. Her poetry was in large part about her early life as an immigrant in Hawaii. For seven years she hosted the Writers Table where seven writers met weekly to read and critique each other’s work.
Gladys was the last of her nine siblings. She was married to Howard C. Parks for 20 years. In 2002, she shared her life with John Welshonce, a widower, until his death in 2007. John’s daughter Susan Brewer remained close to Gladys. Gladys is survived by a daughter Maria (Parks) Ream.
A memorial service will be held on March 28, at 2 p.m. at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church with Rev. Dr. Herbert Sprouse officiating. Entombment will in the church columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Adams County Library, the VNA of Hanover & Spring Grove Hospice, Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, or a charity of your choice.
Online obituary and condolences available at monahanfunerhome.com.