August 12, 1924 - November 25, 2013

Burial Date

Obituaries » HELVI R. PARKER

PARKER, HELVI RAUHA VIANO ENOLA, peacefully passed away November 25, at Rowan Court Health and Rehabilitation Center. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Aug. 12, 1924, to Hannah and Selim Enola, Ellis Island immigrants from Finland. After second grade her family moved to Shrewsbury, Vt., where they struggled through the Depression to succeed in the Finnish sisu tradition. Following her family move to Mount Holly, she really did walk through miles of snow and cold to get on the bus in order to go to Wallingford High School. Graduating from high school in 1942, Helvi returned to New York City and found work at the Empire State Building until she was accepted into the U.S. Cadet Nursing program, which allowed her to go to the St. Luke’s School of Nursing. There she found the career she loved and her nickname, “Sunny.” After graduating in 1946, she returned to Vermont and married Gilbert Parker in Wallingford, on July 5, 1946. During the early years, Sunny and Gil both worked to make ends meet, moving from Burlington to Groton, back to Burlington and finally settling in Montpelier in 1953, where they bought a house and raised four children. Sunny continued her nursing career at Heaton Hospital and Central Vermont Medical Center in the maternity department, delivering many babies and endearing herself to these babies’ mothers for her compassion and empathy throughout their labor and delivery. She belonged to the Trinity Methodist Church and made sure all four children were at Sunday school every week. Left behind are her brother John and wife, Jinny, of Brattleboro; her children and their spouses, Charles and Ann Parker, of North Hero, Betsy and Burr Morse, of East Montpelier, Keith and Sherée Parker, of Berlin; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; also brother-in-law Gordon Parker and wife Betty, of Waynesboro, Va. Many special nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews are scattered about New England and beyond. She was predeceased by her husband of 50 years in 1996, a daughter, Judith Lind Parker, a half-sister, Helen, sister Impi and brother Alan. Sunny requested a simple graveside service, which will be held in the spring at the Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Randolph Center.

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