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June Parker, 88

June Parker of Seattle, Washington, a former Westport resident, died Nov. 17 at home. She was 88.

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June Parker: artist. Contributed photo

She chose the scenic route through life and she lived it with grit and grace, her family said. She enjoyed a love of family and love of beauty that launched her into the world of art and a lifetime of strong ties to her four children; Donna Parker of Seattle, Brad Parker of Vienna, Virginia, Karen Parker of Los Altos, California, and Melissa Riordan of Fairbanks, Arkansas.

Claire “June” Crary was born in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. where she lived for several years with parents, Claire and Ralph Goodman and siblings Nancy (Reilly) and Richard Goodman. When her mother remarried to Stu Crary, the family moved to Westport. All three siblings graduated from Staples High School.

In 1949, June married Donald Parker, an alumnus of Staples High School, the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, and the University of Connecticut.

Together they moved to several locations in the Northeast until finally settling in South Egremont, Massachusetts, where they were seduced by the beauty of the Berkshire Mountains. They lived an active lifestyle and enjoyed skiing and tennis with family and friends for many years. J

She loved attending live performances of the Metropolitan Opera at the Mahaiwe Theater in Great Barrington.

She was widely recognized as a fine pastel artist and was an elected member of the Connecticut Pastel Society. She won many distinguished awards including the Watson-Guptil Award for Pastel (National Arts Club, New York City), the Dianne B. Bernhard Award for Excellence (Hudson Valley Art Association) and many others from the Kent Art Association, the Connecticut Pastel Society, the Housatonic Valley Art Association, and the Sheffield Art League.

She taught pastel painting for five years at the Art School of the Berkshires. For her many accomplishments in the fine arts she has been recognized by and listed in Who’s Who in American Art.”

Many people in the Berkshires own art work by June Parker. Some commissioned family portraits or landscapes of their home. Others purchased paintings at her “Gallery on the Green” located in her home behind the Village Green in South Egremont where she lived for 55 years.

She moved to the Ida Culver Retirement Community in Seattle last year to be closer to her children on the West Coast.

She is survived by her four children, Donna, Brad, Karen and Melissa, their spouses, Jerry, Joe, Penha and Michael and her five grandchildren, Daniel, Jessica, Ellie, Alex and Nick.

She will be buried North Egremont. A memorial celebration of her life will be held in South Egremont and announced at a later date.

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