Oct. 2, 2019 — Roberta “Bobbi” Parker, 80, of Florence, passed away at her home while surrounded by family on Sept. 19, 2019.
Bobbi was an only child and was born July 25, 1939, to parents Robert and May Somermeyer in Oak Park, Ill.
Bobbi’s father died three months before her birth, causing her to be raised by a single mother.
At age 8, Bobbi had an accident while trying to teach herself to roller skate. Her mother rushed her to the doctor’s office, where she was given an anti-toxin shot, which later caused a severe allergic reaction, paralyzing her from the waist down and causing deafness.
The paralyzation eventually went away but the deafness did not.
From that point on, she was forced to continue her education in special schools specifically for the deaf, teaching how to live and maintain in a “hearing world.” She was not allowed to learn sign language but later in life Bobbi took sign language classes and taught herself.
She completed her education in 1960, when she graduated from Northern Illinois University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Bobbi met her husband, Loren Parker, while attending Northern Illinois University. They married in August 1960 and remained married until her death.
They had two children; Kim, born in February 1962, and Scott, born in August 1965. They lived in Plainfield, Ill., until they moved to the Oregon coast in the summer of 1979.
Bobbi’s employment career consisted mainly of working for the Olin Corporation as an accountant for a little over 10 years in Illinois, and then again managing books for her and Loren’s business, Westlane Disposal in Florence for 20 years.
Bobbi was very active in all sorts of endeavors. She loved to play cards and was an excellent bridge player and holds a “Life Master” in Duplicate Bridge. She played weekly in the Florence Bridge Club.
She also loved to read books and volunteered some of her time at the Florence Public Library as well as the Food Share program in Florence. She loved flowers and would garden every summer around their home as well as at the office where their business was located.
Then there were the crafts — she was amazing! She was a seasoned seamstress and made homemade gifts and holiday decorations which she shared with many family members and friends.
She loved to make all her own cards and had quite the stamp collection. She framed many of her needlepoint projects and put them up as lovely decorations on the walls in her home.
There was not a time when Bobbi sat idle. Even at the end of the day, when all work was done, she would be playing games on her computer or watching her favorite CSI episode (with closed captioning, of course).
She was very competitive and hated losing. She enjoyed watching Scott play football and became an avid sports fan.
Bobbi loved her family — she loved her two kids, her three grandchildren: Jeremy, Ashley and Gabbi; as well as her three great-grandsons: Mason, Jax and Jace.
And we all loved her — immensely!
We have so many great stories to share because our Mom/Gramma was one funny lady! She had a way of making whatever event we were celebrating even more fun because of her bright and shining spirit.
It’s going to be tough to celebrate without her; she will be sorely missed.
She was a “light” most definitely.
Roberta is survived by her husband, Loren; her two children, Kim and Scott Parker; her three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
A celebration of her life will be held Oct. 20 at Greentrees Village Rec Hall from 1 to 4 p.m.
Refreshments will be served and all are welcome.