Marie Duke Parsons, 91, of Pawleys Island, SC passed away peacefully at Grand Strand Hospital on Saturday April 20, 2019. She had been surrounded by a host of family and friends since being admitted to the hospital following a fall on April 11, 2019.
Funeral Services, officiated by Reverend Thomas Wallace, will be held Monday, April 22, 2019 at 3 p.m. in the chapel of Graham Funeral Home. The family will receive friends for an hour prior to the service beginning at 2 p.m. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery.
Born October 30, 1927, in Kingstree, she was a daughter of the late Belle Thomas Duke and James Edward Duke. Marie was the youngest of 12 children. As a child growing up in Kingstree, she worked with her mother in her family’s boarding house serving meals to guests. She also helped her mother cook soup that they sent to the local schools. Learning from her mother fostered a love of cooking and hosting meals for guests. Anyone who ever ate a meal at her house looked forward to another invitation. Even though fried chicken was a favorite with her grandchildren, everything that she prepared had her special loving touch.
As a member of Andrews First Baptist Church for many years, she took great pride in welcoming pastors and visiting evangelists into her home and making sure they were all well fed. Mrs. Parsons was a former member of the Adult Sunday School Class, the choir, the Keenagers, and played a major role in the renovation of the old church building into a social hall. Besides being a wonderful cook and hostess, she also worked in the family business, Parsons Christmas Tree and Blueberry Farm, for many years. Families from miles around would return year after year to ride the sleigh and pick out their special tree. She always loved blueberries and she spent her summers gardening and berry picking. She would turn her harvests into the most delicious pies, cakes, muffins, and other confections to share with friends and family.
Her love of gardening blossomed into a passion for daylilies. She became involved with the Georgetown Area Daylily Club. She enjoyed nurturing her daylilies, attending meetings and going on various tours with club members. Her love for daylilies and her affiliation with the club gave her the opportunity to meet many people from all walks of life. “Miss Marie”, as she was affectionately known by the members of the club, was always asked to say the blessing before every meal at their meetings. The Georgetown Area Daylily Club honored her by naming one of their daylilies “Miss Marie”.
The pinnacle of her life revolved around her faith and her personal walk with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She never missed an opportunity to share her faith and witness to everyone she came into contact with. No matter who she met or where she went, she was always willing to pray with, and to continue to pray for, anyone who crossed her path. Marie truly believed the Lord gave her such a long life so that she could give her testimony of love and hope to everyone. Miss Marie fought the good fight, she kept her faith, and on Saturday morning, she received her crown of righteousness.
Surviving are three daughters, Karen Parrott (Buck), Mary Louise “Lou” Foster (Linwood) all of Pawleys Island. Dorothy Thornal (Larry) of Andrews; eight grandchildren, Davey Parrott (Iris), Angela Knight, and Tiffany King, all of Murrells Inlet, Jeremy Foster and Jessica Sharpe of Pawleys Island, Jamie Thornal (Tammy) of Andrews, Richard Thornal (Beth) of Conway, David Thornal (Andrea) of Pickens; thirteen great grandchildren, Savannah and McKinlie Sharpe of Pawleys Island, Tyler and Miles Knight, Judah Richardson and Asher King, all of Murrells Inlet, Hunter and Emily Thornal of Conway, Connor and Carsyn Thornal of Pickens, Annie, Kassie and Allisen Thornal, all of Andrews.
In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by two sisters, Lottie Williamson and Nita Elliott, four brothers, James Duke, McQueen Duke, Dessie Duke, and Frederick Duke, along with 5 infant siblings.
Miss Marie’s family would like to thank the staff of both Grand Strand Hospital and Amedisys Hospice for excellent service and loving care.
Memorials may be made to Georgetown Area Daylily Club, 13541 Browns Ferry Road, Georgetown, SC 29440.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.grahamfuneralhome.org. Arrangements by Graham Funeral Home (843) 527-4419.