Cover photo for Dr. Marilyn A. Parker's Obituary
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1940 Dr. Marilyn 2023

Dr. Marilyn A. Parker

December 13, 1940 — May 6, 2023

Dr. Marilyn A. Parker, 82, passed away on Saturday, May 6, 2023, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. She is survived by her children, Melissa Parker-Combes and her husband Bill of Waukesha, WI and Chris Parker and his wife Yhoumey of Wilmington, MA; grandchildren, Hailey, Nathan, Heidi, and Kaitlyn Parker-Combes and Jackson Parker; siblings, Barb Blau and her husband Al of Fond du Lac, WI and Dan Ankeney of Pace, FL and many nieces and nephews.

Marilyn was born on December 13, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, to Harry and Pauline (Orcutt) Ankeney, who preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by her former husband, Richard Parker, her brother John Ankeney and his wife Char, and her sister-in-law, Pat Ankeney.

Marilyn graduated from L.P. Goodrich in 1958 and earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1962. She then earned her PhD in Chemistry from the University of Washington in 1966. Marilyn was a Professor Emerita of Chemistry at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ, where she made a significant impact on the university and its students for 36 years. She served as chair of the Department of Chemistry for nine years, chair of the Department of Chemistry, Medical Technology and Physics for one year, Dean of the School of Science and Professional Studies for three years, and was Assistant to the Provost for four years.

Dr. Parker was an exceptional teacher and mentor. She participated in the offering of undergraduate courses in chemistry and was instrumental in the development of the advising system at Monmouth known as the Life and Career Advising Center (LCAC), where she served as a freshman advisor for twelve years. She provided leadership in many other important committees, including the Academic Standards and Review Committee for 15 years and the Pre-Professional Health Advisory Committee for 11 years. She was a pioneer in fostering, through her example, the participation of women in faculty roles and administration. Marilyn's many contributions to Monmouth University were recognized with numerous awards, including the Advisor of the Year award, the Donald Warncke award, and the Distinguished Teacher award.

Marilyn served as the NCAA faculty representative for Monmouth University for 14 years. She was a member of the first all female delegation to represent a Division 1 University at the NCAA convention, marking an important historic first. Her legacy will continue to live on in part through the Marilyn Parker Award given each semester to the athletic team with the highest GPA.

Beyond her accomplishments in academia, Marilyn was known for her love of family, friends, and games. She was an exceptional competitor who never shied away from a challenge, especially when it came to family game night. Marilyn’s competitive spirit extended beyond the game table, however. She was an avid tennis fan and enjoyed supporting the Monmouth University Hawks athletic teams. She was also a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), an organization that advances equity for women and girls, in Monmouth County, NJ and Fairfax, VA.

Marilyn will be remembered and celebrated by all who knew her. She will be deeply missed. A private memorial service will be held by her family at a date still to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests charitable donations be made to the Monmouth University Athletic Director’s Excellence Fund in support of women’s athletics. (There is a spot to mark your gift in memory of Marilyn Parker). Checks (with “in honor of Marilyn Parker” written on the memo line) can be mailed to Monmouth Blue/White Club Athletics Department 400 Cedar Avenue West Long Branch, NJ 07764.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dr. Marilyn A. Parker, please visit our flower store.


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