Nonnie Parker was a kind and generous woman who believed in treating people well, said her daughter, Susan Gibson.
“She taught us the importance of customer service and treating people well,” she said. “She touched a lot of people’s lives.”
Her son, Dave Parker, agreed.
“She was considerate and loving, and she bent over backwards to help people,” he said.
Manone “Nonnie” Parker, 89, of Portage, died Dec. 17. She owned and operated Parker’s Grocery for more than 25 years. She worked 13 years for A&P and had been a steelworker at U.S. Steel during World War II.
She had worked for the Porter County Council on Aging as a site manager for the Friendship Center in Valparaiso and the Duneland Center in Chesterton.
Parker worked until she was in her 80s.
“She worked with senior citizens, and she was older than almost all of them,” Gibson said. “She was there for people, no matter what time of day they needed her.”
Parker said his mother wasn’t afraid to work hard.
“She wasn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and get in there,” he said. “At the store, she’d hire people and take them under her wing.”
Gibson said her mother was a gifted piano player and singer, and she loved to cook and entertain.
“She wanted to live her life as fully as she could,” Gibson said. “She wouldn’t sit in the house and watch TV. She wanted to be a part of the world.”
Gibson said her mother was always willing to push boundaries.
“She was a strong, independent woman, even when she was in her 20s when it wasn’t cool to be that,” her daughter said.