Lena Merl (Parker) Dunbar Parker Rogers passed away November 30, 2018 in Akron, Colorado at the age of 96. Funeral services were scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, at the Akron United Methodist Church, with burial following in the Akron cemetery. Memorials in her name can be made to the Washington County Nursing home.
Lena Merl Parker-Rogers was born June 3, 1922 to Ervin and (Cora) Ethel (Purdy) Parker, at home in a sod house just east of Akron, Colorado, the oldest of four children. Other than a brief period of time in eastern Washington County and part time in Oakley, Kansas later in life, she lived in the Akron area until age and declining physical health took her to a care facility in Brush.
Lena attended country schools in the Akron area, and went to high school in Akron for a short time. She met Vernon Dunbar and they were married June 18, 1938. Vernon had two small girls, Gloria, 4, and (Lela) Rae, 2, and they added six children to their union: Larry, Wayne, Norma, Donna, Dale, and Anita.
In her early married life, Lena could be found helping Vernon build fence, which she always said she loved. Gardening was a passion, as well as a necessity, and Vernon plowed a garden spot in the field and they both worked raising a variety of vegetables for their table.
She shared her love of music with her family and would fill in to play the piano at church, though an organ was her instrument of choice.
During the years of raising her family, she sold Stanley products, worked at the Dairy Delite in Akron, and at Newberry’s, a five and dime store, when the family went to Arizona for the winter. She later worked as a cook in the kitchen at the school and went on to work in the kitchen at the hospital in Akron, in order to pay for phone service so she could keep in touch with her adult children who had moved away. She taught herself to type when she began to do the society news for the Akron News-Reporter.
She was a devout Christian and it was always her hope that one of her descendants would become a pastor. She was faithful in her Bible study and her convictions.
After Vernon’s passing in 1987, Lena became friends with a man who taught her that she loved to dance, play cards and travel. She later married Dwayne Parker and they also did some traveling, as well as camping, even as close as Sterling. He became ill and passed away in October 1998.
In October, 2000, Lena married Ermel Rogers, a longtime friend of the family and father of her daughter-in-law, Gala. The two continued to do some limited travel to visit family, and going to hymn sings her brothers hosted on a regular basis in Longmont. They split their time between Ermel’s home in Oakley, Kansas, and Akron, until it became too difficult to make the trip. They remained in Akron until a short time before Ermel’s death when they lived with his daughter, Susan, and family near Colorado Springs.
Although her health was good, she suffered broken shoulders, hips and one elbow, and these took their toll on her body, with arthritis setting in and causing her significant pain and, eventually, leading to her going into the assisted living area at Eben Ezer in Brush in 2012. Her physical abilities continued to decline, and it was necessary for her to receive full care. She agreed to come to the Washington County Nursing home in March 2018, where she was cared for until her death on November 30, 2018.
She is preceded in death by her parents; husbands: Vernon, Dwayne, and Ermel; sister and brother-in-law, Bonnie and Jim Larkins; brother and sister-in-law, Don and Alvera Parker; step daughters: Rae Colpitts and Gloria Dunbar; grandson, Randy Reese; son-in-law Keith Lohmeyer; and step son-in-law John Repshire. She is survived by one brother, Glenn Parker, Berthoud; children: Larry (Bon) Dunbar of Florida, Wayne (Gala) Dunbar of Minnesota, Norma Lohmeyer of California, Donna (Mike) Smith of California, Dale (Judy) Dunbar and Anita (Larry) Johnson, all of Akron; stepdaughters: Kay Repshire, of Kansas, and Susan (Mike) of Overbay, Colorado; 19 grandchildren; and a host of step grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family members, as well as those whose lives she’s touched throughout the years.
A funeral service was held Wednesday, December 5, 2018 at the United Methodist Church of Akron. Interment will follow at the Akron Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Washington County Nursing Home.
Arrangements were entrusted to Bowin Funeral Home of Akron, Colorado. Online condolences may be left at www.bowinfuneralhome.com.12-5