School 31


Parker Forbes Graham

1945 - 2021



Graham, Parker Forbes

October 16, 1945 – March 8, 2021

Mrs. Parker Forbes Graham, 75, a resident of Reidsville, NC, passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family on Monday afternoon, March 8, 2021 after a lengthy illness. It was a beautiful day for our angel to ascend into Jesus’ loving arms and leave her disease-weakened worldly body behind.

Parker was born in Reidsville, NC October 16, 1945 to Dr. Thomas E. (Rabbit) Forbes and Julia Doub Forbes. She attended Salem Academy in Winston Salem NC, Centenary College in Hackettstown, NJ, and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received a master’s degree from NC A&T State Univ. Parker was a lifelong educator, teaching for 10 years in Head Start in Alexandria, VA, and later spending over 20 years teaching in Rockingham County North Carolina Public Schools. She was the AIG coordinator for Rockingham County secondary students and, among other accomplishments, developed and led the academic challenge cup (ACC) quiz bowl series. Parker was recognized as a Finalist as Outstanding Teacher of the Gifted by the NC Association for the Gifted and Talented and Rockingham County Schools in 2003.

She is survived by her husband of 31 years, Robert F. Graham, of the home, one daughter, Julia A. Redding of Reidsville, NC, sister Suzanne Forbes Howard of Reidsville, NC, and nephew Thomas Van Ness Howard of Wilmington, NC, and brother-in-law Gary S. Graham and family of Rancho Mission Viejo, CA, and cousins, Martha Rokahr and Anne Rokahr of Winston Salem, NC, and several other nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents, brother-in-law Ken V. Howard and her niece, Sally Howard. Parker will also be reunited with her beloved cats Twirp, Chester, Sonny, Boo, Frisco, and Katy.

Parker’s faith was very important to her, second only to family. She was a lifelong devoted and active member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church of Reidsville, NC. She served her church community in many capacities over the years, including singing alto in the church choir, serving on the Vestry and ministerial search committees, the St. Thomas Episcopal Church Women as its head, and countless years as part of the St. Thomas “bazaar ladies:. She organized and headed a knitting group, Stiches of Love, that knitted blankets, scarves, hats and socks for babies and others in need. Parker was very precise in her knitting and her works were always in demand and loved by their recipients until her health forced her to stop. She also was a lifelong avid reader right up to her passing. She also enjoyed playing bridge and other card games, and while able, loved gardening around her home. She was a longtime volunteer at Cone Health - Annie Penn Memorial Hospital in Reidsville. She was an avid traveler and accompanied her husband on his countless trips to photograph and ride trains in scenic and remote locations across the US and Canada for over 30 years. Parker was a lifelong sports fan, and followed her beloved UNC Tar Heels and Wake Forest Demon Deacons and the New York Yankees baseball team. With her husband’s encouragement, she developed a love for ice hockey, and followed the Carolina Hurricanes eagerly.

Because of Covid-19 restrictions, a private funeral service and inurnment in the St. Thomas Columbarium will be conducted on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. A celebration of Parker’s life and full memorial service will be scheduled later in the year, once Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. As Parker said, she wants her friends and family to not be sad and sullen, but joyous and happy at her transition, so get ready to party!! There will be a visitation conducted at the home of her sister, Suzanne Howard on Friday, March 12, 2021 from 5 to 7 p.m. after the service. In addition, her friends are welcome to come by Parker’s home and pay their respects any time after Friday, March 12, 2021. Please observe Covid-19 protocols during visitations, including masks. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you please consider making a donation in Parker’s name to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 315 Lindsey Street, Reidsville, NC 27320.

The family thanks the Doctors and staff at Cone Health Annie Penn Hospital and Moses Cone Hospital for the additional good years they were able to give to her. Especially, thanks to Dr. Dalton McLean of the Cone Health Advanced Heart Failure Clinic in Greensboro, NC, Dr. Edward Hawkins of Reidsville NC, and finally Amedisys Hospice of Burlington, NC and specifically Brittany Fraser, RN, for their expert and considerate care.

Citty Funeral Home of Reidsville, NC is assisting the family. Online condolences may be made at


St. Thomas Episcopal Church
P.O. Box 72, Reidsville NC 27323-0072

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Gary S. Graham

March 17, 2021 11:47 AM

Our thoughts and prayers go to Parker now in heaven, her loving husband and my brother Bob, her daughter, Julie, and the rest of Parker's family.  While this was not unexpected it is still shocking to all when reality hits and a loved one is lost.  Parker and Bob were together for over 30 years and made a wonderful couple who shared a wonderful life together.  That wonderful life will continue on in the many wonderful memories left by Parker for all to enjoy.  Bob, love you and you and Parker always have been, are and always will be in the thoughts and prayers of the CA Grahams.  Love, Gary and Beckie Graham  

Sharon Troxler

March 14, 2021 3:56 PM

Some of my favorite memories of Parker involved her witty sense of dry humor. When our lab, Kate, was sprayed in the face by a skunk, I put Kate in my shower and scrubbed the best that I could to lessen the odor. The next day at Annie Penn Hospital, my co-workers kept wrinkling their noses at me...An honest friend told me in private: "Sharon, you still smell like a skunk." Needless to say, I stayed in my office the remainder of the day. When Parker found out about my embarassment, she and a couple of other friends presented me with a stuffed skunk to display in my office. We had many laughs about that skunk perched in my office in the months after that, and Parker enjoyed sharing the story with others.
Humor was a thread that we seemed to share as friends. Parker had a twinkle in her eye and a grin when she explained to me that she once got "kicked out of school" ..She seemed to actually be a ;little proud of the fact:  It added to her "tough cookie" facade.  
I soon realized that she had a heart of gold that others saw, as well. She brought roses to cancer patients;  Christmas cookies to nursing staff; a baby afghan handmade by her for our Chaplain's new granddaughter----the list was long. I loved Parker, because she was so REAL and honest, not only about herself, but about life in general. 
The "tough cookie" struggled a great deal in the last years with her health, but she kept going-- when most of us would have given up. She inspired so many with her courage. 
I regret that the last year has isolated most of us; myself included. I know that it had to be difficult for Parker, but I know that her husband, daughter, and sister took good care of her. 
Rest in peace and breathe deeply, my friend. Keep the glint in your eye, and stay close to Jesus. We both know that He has a sense of humor...
Sharon Troxler

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March 14, 2021 12:34 PM
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Mary Kelly Glidewell

March 11, 2021 1:17 PM

Katie, Mary Kelly, Sandra and John McCollum send our thoughts and prayers! I have so many fond memories of our carpool days. We loved Parker and enjoyed our time with her.

Mark Childrey

March 11, 2021 12:01 PM

Parker was teaching at Bethany when I was teaching the DARE program in all of the county schools. When she found out her dad, Dr. Forbes delivered me, it was like we'd known each other forever. She had a fantastic sense of humor and always made me laugh when I would see her at school. It was always a pleasure to see her and catch up. My condolences go to everyone in the family. 

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