By Rev. Kenneth V. Daniel, President and CEO
United Church Homes
As many of you may already know, Ruth Frost Parker passed away Saturday morning at the age of 92 at the Parkvue Community in Sandusky. Her unparalleled vision and generosity helped create the senior health care and residential campus of Parkvue Community, an affiliate of United Church Homes.
Mrs. Parker’s leadership, generous philanthropy and abiding attention helped advance the ministry of United Church Homes in countless ways.
Mrs. Parker thoroughly embraced her role as servant leader, and embodied the core values of United Church Homes. Every initiative she engaged in demonstrated her compassion, integrity and stewardship. She also was an advocate that senior living ministries operate out of an abiding sense of hospitality, respect and transparency. In fact, just two days before her death, the UCH Board of Directors adopted these core values to guide the organization’s mission now and into the future.
In addition to serving on the UCH Board of Directors for nearly a decade, Mrs. Parker was well known as the most generous donor in the history of United Church Homes. Her philanthropic interest in UCH is evidenced by the fact that the most noteworthy giving level, the Ruth F. Parker Circle, is named in her honor, as is the Ruth F. Parker Nursing Scholarship. She was a tireless advocate for making senior living and healthcare accessible to everyone.
Mrs. Parker often referred to Parkvue Community as her “baby,” her favorite place meriting her sustained attention and devotion. Over the past year alone, her gifts to Parkvue funded the construction of the community’s newly expanded therapy department and café bistro, and plans are moving forward to facilitate her vision of a state-of-the-art aquatics facility.
In my role as president and CEO of United Church Homes, I had the privilege and honor of getting to know Mrs. Parker and working directly with her over the past four years. Every time I spoke with her, I walked away feeling that Parkvue and United Church Homes were so blessed to have such an extraordinarily ardent supporter and benefactor. She had the ability, the interest and the passion to make a material difference in the lives of others, and she did so abundantly.
Ken Keller, who worked closely with Mrs. Parker for nearly 20 years in his role as administrator of Parkvue Community, said she was the greatest person he’s ever known. Many people in the Sandusky community and beyond feel the same way.
As we keep Ruth Parker and her family and friends in our thoughts and prayers, let us all remember her for the generous and humble person she was, and be thankful to have been graced by her presence in our lives.