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Patricia Manning Parnell
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Obituary for Patricia Manning Parnell

Patricia Ann Manning Parnell, 89, died Monday October 23, 2017, at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Waco, Texas. After a private family burial in Oakwood Cemetery, a visitation will be held in the parlor of the First Presbyterian Church of Waco, 1100 Austin Ave., at 3 p.m., followed by a service in the sanctuary at 4 p.m. Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Memorials can be made to First Presbyterian Church or to Fuzzy Friends Recue.

Pat was born on October 20, 1928, to Ray and Evelyn Myers Manning in Whitewright, Texas. She grew up in Leonard, Texas, graduating from Leonard High School as valedictorian. She attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, earning a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1950. Patricia put this learning to work there in Dallas as Production Manager of Rogers and Smith Advertising Agency. She met her future husband, William Robert Parnell, on a blind date arranged by her uncle, Larry Clotfelter. After a brief courtship, the two married on May 1, 1957, and lived for a short time in Corsicana, Texas.

Moving to Waco in 1959 with an infant daughter, Robert and Pat proceeded to make the 'Heart of Texas' their forever home. The births of two more children completed their family. Patricia enjoyed being a stay- at-home mother, but she was very active in community events as well. She worked with the Charity Horse Show, a fundraiser for the Waco Symphony Council, for many years. She also participated in the PTA, Kappa Delta Sorority, and Friends of the Library, The Historic Waco Foundation, the Forum Study Club, and activities at the Mayborn Museum. Patricia was always on some committee within the Presbyterian church, sometimes serving as President of the Women of the Church. She was chosen as one of the first women deacons and later as an elder, breaking the 'glass ceiling' at the time. Robert and Pat traveled to many states and foreign countries during their married life. England and Italy were her favorites.

Most recently, Pat was active in several bridge clubs and frequently attended classes at Baylor University with their Lifelong Learning program. She was an avid reader and visited the Waco Public Library almost weekly. As a symphony patron throughout all her years in Waco, Pat enjoyed many musical performances. She loved to be outside in her yard, working in her raised-bed vegetable gardens or watching the birds and squirrels devour the seeds she supplied.

Patricia was preceded in death by her parents; her older brother, David Manning; and her husband, Robert Parnell.

She is survived by her children, Susan Parnell Gordon (Mitch) of Maben, Mississippi, Leslie Blake Parnell (Lauriejo) of Cedar Park, Texas, and Richard Charles Parnell (Shelby) of Sanger, Texas. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Laura Mosley Dean of Lodi, California, James Thomas Mosley of Lewisville, Texas, Matthew William Mosley of Falmouth, Massachusetts, and Lydia Parnell of Cedar Park. Four years ago, Pat was delighted to become GG Momma to Sullivan Michael Dean of Lodi.

Long ago, when a college friend of hers learned of Patricia's upcoming marriage, she penned a note stating that she hoped Robert knew what a 'crackerjack' girl he was getting. Webster's Dictionary defines 'crackerjack' as an exceptionally good person. Her friends and family can attest to that. She will be greatly missed.

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Previous Events





3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
First Presbyterian Church

1100 Austin Avenue
Waco, TX 76701





4:00 PM
First Presbyterian

1100 Austin Ave
Waco, TX 76701

Cemetery Details


Oakwood Cemetery

2124 S. 5th St.
Waco, TX 76706


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