Nelda Davis Parker, 90, of Baton Rouge died peacefully at her home Saturday, March 28, 2020 with her beloved husband Jesse Joe Parker and their family. She and Dr. Parker were married 69 years. Nelda grew up with seven siblings on a farm in Ringgold, LA where she learned to cook, sew, and manage a household at an early age. When given a choice of chores as a youngster, she preferred working in the kitchen to working outside with the livestock or in the vegetable garden. After graduating from Ringgold High School in 1947, she attended Northwestern State College in Natchitoches, where she initially sought a degree in Home Economics. Nelda said her father encouraged her and her four sisters to go to college and pursue careers of their own, for they would need independent incomes and careers in the modern world. Nelda and Joe met in the campus cafeteria, where they worked to help pay for their educations. They married in 1950 shortly after both had earned B.A. degrees in Education. They lived and taught in Shreveport and Minden where each worked at second jobs, Joe joining the National Guard and working on an offshore boat in South Louisiana one summer while Nelda worked in a munitions plant near Minden. In the summer of 1958 Nelda and Joe returned to Natchitoches to teach school while completing their master's degrees in Education. Three years later they moved to Leesville, where Nelda taught elementary school and Joe served as principal of Leesville High School for five years. In 1966 the family moved to Baton Rouge, where Nelda taught first at Bernard Terrace Elementary, then at Parkview Elementary. Nelda completed an additional 30 hours of post-grad education training at LSU and supervised student teachers for many years. Teaching was her passion and third grade her favorite class. Retiring with 30 years of teaching, she joined Joe as co-owner of Parker Estate Sales, staying active in the business from 1990 until 2015. Nelda was known as a consummate homemaker and talented cook who enjoyed trading recipes with family and friends. Nelda is survived by two sons, Barry Parker (wife Marilynn) of Pineville, and Jon(Jonny) Parker (partner Sandra L'Herisson) of Baton Rouge, and a daughter, JoNell Vachet (fiance Chris Hendricks) of Moorpark, CA; five grandchildren: Brian Parker (fiancee Allie Prest), Robyn Vollenweider (husband Darriush), Brad Parker (wife Megan), Laura Ruth Parker Narvaez (husband Gilbert), and Michael Parker; and five great-grandchildren: Hailey, Brooke and Nathan Parker, and Judson and Maggie Vollenweider. She is also survived by sisters Hazel Ford (husband Tom), Nancy Pullig, and Anne Brock (husband Eric), and brother James Davis, plus a host of nephews and nieces. Preceded in death by parents John Fletcher Davis, Sr. and Eunice Gertrude Thomas; brothers John Fletcher Davis, Jr. and Zechariah Thomas Davis; and sister Mary Francis Barron. The family thanks the many caregivers, and the loving staff of The Hospice of Baton Rouge for their unfailing support. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. Condolences can be placed online at https://www.churchfuneralservices.com/
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Published in The Advocate from Apr. 4 to Apr. 5, 2020.