Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Marion L. Parcell, 89, of Newport News

Marion L. Parcell (Weymouth Funeral Home)

Graveside Service: 2:00 p.m., Thursday, February 9, 2023

Location: Arlington National Cemetery

Marion L. Parcell, 89, passed away at her residence on Tuesday, December 13, 2022. She was born in DC and her early years were spent in Maryland, where her mother owned a general store.

After high school, she received a nursing scholarship to UAA in Anchorage, AK, but after a professor suggested nursing might not be a suitable fit for someone who did not tolerate the sight of blood very well, she left the program. When she left there, she looked straight into her future ahead, but when a passenger airplane flew over her, she saw that her future was 30,000 ft. above in the air.

Marion became a stewardess for Eastern Airlines, falling in love with the adventures, people, and places that were ever-changing in her job. She was proud that Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was her boss, as she was engaged to a Naval Academy graduate. She wore her engagement ring on a necklace, hiding it under her uniform as stewardesses were not allowed to be married at that time.

Her next adventure was marriage, children, and taking on the challenges of being an officer’s wife, for there would be transfers and long months of her husband being at sea. She handled it with aplomb, grace, and creativity while balancing the protocols of military life and her independent nature and way of being. When pregnant with her daughter, she had decided upon Paris as her name, though in the early sixties, this was for- ward thinking and modern. When her husband’s submarine was leaving port, he asked that she decide on a different baby’s name. But Fortune smiles upon those who share a kinship, for her daughter was born and named, a good three months before his submarine would surface coming home from the seas.

When her husband was transferred to Oahu, Marion embraced the islands, culture, and people. She named the family’s boxer, Nani Pua, and let her children name their pet rabbit, Primo. She would ride shotgun in the yellow Mustang convertible, hair tied back with a scarf, wearing her Jackie-O sunglasses.

Leaving the trade winds behind for the next transfer back to the mainland, and settling in Newport News, Marion was happy to be close to the water and ocean. She went into retail at Rice’s Nachman’s, excelling in sales, as she loved fashion, and had a fashion-forward personal style.

She wore Chanel 5 and one other perfume, never giving away the name when frequently asked by others, for it was her signature.

Later, Marion created a business, based on the historic buildings of Williamsburg, turning her sketches of them into Christmas ornaments. Years following, she forged into the laborious and tough world of a franchise as a Dunkin Donuts owner.

Marion travelled to foreign lands with her husband, and later with her dear friend Norma, who also shared the appetite for the beckoning of the unknown. She gifted her children a wild and woolly childhood, encouraging them to venture out, explore, and follow their own path. We had a mélange of pets throughout the years and given the free rein to explore the nearby river, woods, and our own entrepreneurial endeavors. The gas lamp post she had installed in the front yard was the warm light that drew us back to the safety of the hearth after the wildness of the day. We wanted one more day, a week or month, if not a year. But therein lies the sorrow of love and great loss; time is never enough. But ‘oh, the places you will go……’

She was a member of Warwick Memorial UMC for over fifty years in Denbigh.

Marion was preceded in death by Kenneth Parcell, her husband of over fifty years; her parents, and a brother. She is survived by her 3 children, Michael Parcell, Paris Parcell and Scott Parcell and his wife, Dorothy, and mom’s beloved cat, Minnie.

A Graveside Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2023 at Arlington National Cemetery. Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.

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