For most, June 24, 1948 was a typical summer day in Birmingham, Alabama; sunshine, clear skies, an occasional cool breeze, with temperatures rising from the high 70’s to the low 90’s. Oh, but that was no typical day in the Dorsey household. For it was on that day that Mark and Josephine Dorsey welcomed the birth of their beautiful and not so typical baby girl, Brenda Joyce, the third child in a family that would eventually grow to eight children. From just about the very beginning Brenda was bighearted and open-handed. She gave willingly whenever she saw a need or recognized a desire. Brenda Joyce Parker was so much the giver that she gave with enthusiasm and matchless skill. Abundantly blessed, Brenda was a living testament to the scripture, “It is more blessed to give to than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)
After having spent the first few of her formative years in Birmingham’s Washington Elementary School, Brenda relocated with her parents and seven siblings to Youngstown, Ohio where she later graduated from South High School on Market Street. Shortly thereafter she began her professional career of caring for people at Little Forest Medical Center, and married Anthony Parker. After having spent thirty plus years caring for people at Little Forest later known as Boardman Medical Center, Brenda retired early in 2009 due to failing health. Even into retirement Brenda continued giving and expending herself for others, in conjunction with countless hours of bargain shopping and garage sale hosting.
If you knew Brenda you knew that she was as much the ingenious bargain shopper as she was the inexhaustible giver. When Brenda shopped she was sure to get the best possible deal. She shopped and gave - gave and shopped, and did so selflessly. Brenda was a woman who expended and often over extended herself for others. She cooked, shopped and cared for others. This she did with careful attention to detail and the perfect blend of ingredients, capital, and love. She may not have been a successful stock market investor, but an investor she indeed was. Much like her mother Josephine and grandmother Eloise Glover, Brenda invested much into the lives of many; be they families sprinkled about the neighborhood or children she loved as her own; this included her nieces, nephews, and Tambura and Lena Jenkins – the children next door.
As benevolent as she was Brenda could never been mistaken for someone who tolerated nonsense. She was cool people, drama free, and she didn’t take ‘no mess’. She found no need in dressing up the truth. Brenda was simply a ‘say it like it is’ woman who lived to care for others.
On Friday, August 2, 2019 this woman who exemplified a Good Samaritan stepped from time into eternity. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, Mark and Josephine Dorsey, her husband Anthony Parker, three brothers Gerald Williams, Dwight Dorsey, Barry Dorsey, niece Myra Davis Zinn and nephew DeMayne Crankfield. Loved ones living to cherish and honor her memory are her devoted companion for over 30 years, Herman Smith; two sisters, Gloria Davis, Lansing, Michigan; Beverly Crankfield, Atlanta Georgia; brothers Jimmy Dorsey, Youngstown, Ohio; Larry (Yolanda) Dorsey, Rosharon, Texas; eleven nieces and nephews, a host of cousins, a host of relatives, friends, and the extended family of Herman Smith.
Visitation will be Saturday, August 17, 2019 from 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. at the L. E. Black, Phillips & Holden Funeral Home. Funeral services will follow immediately at 10:00 a.m.
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