Hazel Kathleen Clemmons Parker passed away peacefully in her home in Supply, North Carolina on June 22, 2023. Her 89 years were filled with love and happiness and mark a life very well lived. Born on September 29, 1933, she was the only child of Ruby and Riley Clemmons, farmers who instilled a tradition of celebration around family and food. Spending almost her entire life in Supply, she met her future husband in the first grade.
Including Albert, her husband of 67 years, Kathleen is survived by her daughter Angela, her husband Jeff and granddaughter Reilly; son Al, his wife Ramona, grandson Bert and his wife Ana, great grandsons Alex, Cameron and Ashton (due in July), and granddaughter Katie Mae and great grandchildren Maggie Gray and Parker.
In 1955 she graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, where she made many lifelong friends. She was proud to have both her daughter-in-law and granddaughter attend the alma mater that was so special to her. Marrying her lifelong sweetheart in July of 1955, she moved to Charleston, SC until Albert completed his tour of duty with the Coast Guard. Returning to Supply, she worked alongside Albert, his brother Fred and wife Betty operating J. M. Parker & Sons, a general store that over time morphed into a building material business. Had she been assigned a title, it would have been Financial Officer as she managed the books, invoicing, payments, and payroll. She was also adept in everything from ordering lumber to selecting the right nail, astonishing customers who thought they could only be helped by “one of the men”.
Amid her busy work schedule, she still found time to regularly volunteer at her children’s school and to relentlessly surprise Angela and Al with incredible after school treats such as homemade donuts. A serious cookbook collector, over the years her family and friends have enjoyed many, many feasts from her infamous kitchen. At Christmastime her homemade pimento cheese and fudge, both made with Velveeta, were coveted by everyone on her holiday list.
Her tables were beautifully decorated with flowers that she arranged and tablecloths that she “whipped up”. For years she was very involved in the Long Bay Garden Club, using her accounting skills as treasurer, hosting themed luncheons, and contributing numerous handmade crafts to the annual charity fundraiser. A longtime member of Camp United Methodist Church, she served on the Alter Guild and cooked many meals in the fellowship hall kitchen. Quite the interior decorator and confident “do it your selfer” – once she learned to hang wallpaper, even the closets got a makeover with colorful matching trim.
An avid traveler, she toured every state except one and many countries throughout Europe and Asia. With Albert very involved in the Shrine, she also attended numerous Shrine functions, making lots of friends throughout North Carolina and the US. Following computer courses at Brunswick Tech, she became the family go to for tech tips. Using her computer skills, she compiled a Grandma Kat and Grandma Mae Cookbook and regularly created thoughtful birthday cards.
She was very artsy, making scarves, sweaters, flat reed baskets, and cross stitch masterpieces that are cherished by her kids and grandkids. And a fight is brewing for one of her gems: a fabulous hand painted and decorated Santa Claus!
The family is grateful for the loving care provided during her illness by the wonderful team led by Sue Pendergraft and the many, many expressions of love from friends. Those wishing to make gifts in Kathleen’s memory are encouraged to consider a contribution to the Camp United Methodist Church Kitchen Improvement Fund, where the celebration of fellowship, love and community through food lives on. (CUMC PO Box 776 Shallotte, NC 28459)
A celebration of life service will be held at Brunswick Funeral Service, 5229 Ocean Highway West, Shallotte, NC at 3:00 PM on Sunday, June 25, 2023. The family will receive guests immediately beforehand beginning at 2:00 PM.
Pallbearers: Jody Clemmons, Leamon Clemmons, Joey Galloway, Kyle Kirby, Alan Lewis, Steve Norris
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