Margaret "Pat" Parks

MIDDLETON- Margaret "Pat" Parks, 87, passed away Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

Pat was born on October 11th, 1926, to Dr. John and Rigga Towey and joined brother John and half-sister Mary Rachel. Pat grew up in Powers, Mich. on the grounds of the Pinecrest Sanitorium where her father was a leading specialist in tuberculosis. Pat attended a Catholic high school, in Marquette, WI. Pat was an accomplished pianist and attended music camp in the summers. She graduated from Michigan Technological University with a bachelors in Medical Technology. She worked as a medical technologist for the federal Malt and Barley Lab and the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Madison, WI.

On December 26, 1955, Pat married Harland E. Parks and moved to Middleton where they raised their four boys. Pat was very active at St Bernard's Catholic Church teaching Religious Education and serving in many ways. Pat was involved in a reading program for children and in the Madison Orchid club along with her husband who raised Orchids. She was very active in Homemakers. Pat had many interests. She raised roses, read avidly, and was interested in genealogy. She loved sewing and quilting. As a good Irish mother she made sure everyone was well fed, always having cookies on hand for grandkids. She enjoyed the music of Irish Fest in Milwaukee for many years with her cousins Mike and Mary Claire and traveled to Ireland to visit the homeland of her grandparents. Pat loved Opera and listened to the Metropolitan Opera every Saturday afternoon on WPR. She always enjoyed visiting with her brother John, his wife Dorothy and their children. Pat retired from her profession to babysit her grandchildren. Over the years she took care of Sarah, Bonnie, Nick, Austin, Ryan and Matt. Her sacrificial spirit helped their parents as she cooked meals, washed clothes, read many books and took trips to the park. Pat said she had wanted ten children; God heard her prayer, but granted it over two generations with four children and six grandchildren.

Pat was preceded in death by her husband Harland Parks, her parents John and Rigga Towey, her sister Mary Rachel, her cousins Mike and Mary Claire Jordon and her brother and sister-in-law Helen and Bob Curvey. Pat leaves behind her children; Dick (Mary) Parks of Dodgeville, Paul (Ruth Anderson) Parks of Middleton, Bob Parks of Marshall, Jim (Theresa) Parks of Columbus Ohio. She leaves behind her beloved grandchildren, Sarah, Bonnie, Nick, Austin, Ryan, Matthew, Nick and Perry. She also leaves behind her brother, John (Dorothy) Towey and their children John, Kevin, Beth, Kathleen and Ann. She also leaves behind her nephews, Bob and Jim Curvey.

The family thanks the many people who helped her during these final years as she navigated the challenges of Alzheimers; Adrienne, St Bernard's Parish Nurse, Mary Cook, Jill Kubek and especially the staff at Oakwood West Memory Care and the 2nd floor Hebron Skilled Nursing unit and Agrace Hospice staff.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at ST. BERNARDS CATHOLIC CHURCH, 7450 University Ave., Middleton, at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013, with Monsignor Douglas Dushack presiding. Burial will be at St. Bernards Catholic Parish Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service at the church on Saturday.

Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson West
Funeral & Cremation Care
7435 University Avenue

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