Anita (Nene) Louise Parker (Hammonds), age 54, passed away peacefully at her home in rural Lansing, Kan., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.
Anita was born Feb. 14, 1958, at Little Rock AFB, Ark., to Porter and Laura Hammonds. When Anita's father retired from the Air Force in 1964, the family settled in Orlando, Fla., where she lived until 1981. Anita graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 1976; music was her passion and she sang in numerous vocal groups while attending Oak Ridge, Contemporary Ensemble was her favorite. Anita's music teacher, Mr. Rawls, was her inspiration and mentor; he encouraged her to pursue her passion. After graduation Anita went on to sing professionally for the next five years.
Anita married Jim Parker on Oct. 21, 1981, at the McCoy AFB chapel Orlando, Fla. and embarked on the next phase of her life as an Air Force wife and mom. Over the course of the next 21 years, Anita and her family lived in ten different locations as diverse and interesting as Keflavik, Iceland and Kalkar, Germany. Following Jim's retirement in 2001, the family settled in Lansing, Kan., where they have lived for the past 11 years.
After moving to Kansas, Anita worked as a para-educator in the Lansing Middle School; in this position she assisted special education students to reach their full potential. Her students learned quickly Mrs. Parker was a teacher ready to be their biggest supporter but also a tough cookie; as the mother of three boys, she had seen it all and you weren't going to get away with anything.
Anita was a devoted military mom with two sons currently serving on active duty and a third son a former Air National Guardsman; she was very proud of her boys!
Anita dearly cherished her family and her pets, Charlie a golden retriever and Zoey a calico cat. Her hobbies and interests included gardening, antiques, walking and exercise. One of Anita's favorite activities was her exercise class where she enjoyed the exercise almost as much as the love and support of her "exercise gals". Anita raised wonderful tomatoes and went so far as to cover all of her 21 tomato plants with burlap during the hot summer afternoons. She loved vacationing in the Adirondacks and hiking in the mountains. Anita had a heart for the Lord and was an active member of every military chapel where she and her family were stationed, most recently the Ft. Leavenworth Main Post Chapel.
Anita is survived by her husband James "Jim" of Lansing, Kan.; three sons, Christopher of Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo., Daniel of Ft. Collins, Colo. and Steven of Greenville, Texas; her mother, Laura Hammonds (Mizzell) of Orlando, Fla.; two sisters and one brother-in-law, Wanda Gerry of Orlando, Fla. and Yvonne (Bonnie) and Charles (Chuck) Gallagher of San Antonio, Texas; one brother and sister-in-law, Mike and Rita (Hamon) Hammonds of Oviedo, Fla.; four nephews, one niece, one great-nephew and three great-nieces. Anita was preceded in passing by her father Porter Hammonds.
Page 2 of 2 - Anita will be remembered during a memorial service on Monday, Nov. 12, 2012 at 10 a.m. at the R.L Leintz Funeral Home, 4701 10th Avenue, Leavenworth, KS 66048 (913-351-0200); Chaplain (MAJ, USA) Donald Carrothers will officiate.
The family requests any memorials be donated to the American Cancer Society Fight Against Pancreatic Cancer: American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22718, Oklahoma City, OK 73123-1718 or online at www.cancer.org.