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Sandra Ruth Parks Gifford, 65, of Paris, died Saturday, January 4, 2013 at Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Funeral services are set for 2:00 PM, Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at Calvary United Methodist Church with Rev. Glynn Vickers and Rev. Ben Read officiating. Burial will be in Meadowbrook Gardens Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00-8:00 PM Monday evening at the funeral home. Fry & Gibbs Funeral Home has charge of the arrangements.
Sandra was born in Deport, Texas, on October 22, 1947. She was the daughter of Forrest Parks and Margaret Tomlinson Parks. She attended school in Deport and graduated from East Texas State University (Texas A&M Commerce) with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English. She was granted a doctoral fellow at Oklahoma State University.
She was a graduate assistant in the English Department at East Texas State University. She taught English at Mt. Pleasant High School, freshman English at Oklahoma State University, English at Edmond, Oklahoma High School, and English at Paris High School.
Sandra was chosen Texas State Secondary Teacher of the Year in 1991. She was on the Texas Task Force on Professional Preparation/Development in 1993. She received the Optimist Volunteer Award in 1994. She received the R. Leigh Oliver Excellence in Teaching Award in 1996. In 1996 she was awarded the State Bar of Texas Merit Award. In 1996 she was given the State Board of Education Recognition for Scenario Coaches. In that same year, she received the Regional Teacher of the Year award and the Medal of Merit from the Air Force Association. She gave numerous conference presentations and addresses for Paris Independent School District, the Texas Association of Gifted and Talented, the Texas Education Agency Regional Conference, and the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals. She was the author of five articles in educational publications and had been a member of the National Education Association, Texas State Teachers Association, Texas Association for Gifted and Talented, and Delta Kappa Gamma, Lamar Reading Council, and Friends of the Library. She was a National Consultant for McGraw-Hill from February 1999 until August 2012 and was the most requested of all the consultants.
Sandra was a long-time member of Calvary Methodist and had served on numerous committees and was currently chair of the Endowment Committee. She had recently been appointed to the Paris Education Foundation. She was also a member of the Green Thumb Garden Club.
Sandra was preceded in death by her parents, Forrest and Margaret Parks, of Deport. She is survived by her daughter, Amy Gifford Williams, of Rockwall, her granddaughter, Victoria, Amy’s father and Victoria’s grandfather, Jim Gifford of Paris, and a host of friends and former students who loved her immensely.
She was a dedicated teacher and a gifted consultant for her textbook company. She loved to read and travel and had been all over the country as an educational consultant. She traveled extensively in Western and Eastern Europe and Alaska and Hawaii. She was an accomplished gardener and photographer.
Delores Ann “Dee” Jennings, 73, of Paris passed away Friday January 4, 2013 at Paris Healthcare Center. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at Fry-Gibbs Funeral Home with Rev. Bryan Mackey officiating. Burial will follow in Meadowbrook Cemetery. The family will receive friends at the funeral home.
She was born May 13, 1939 in Mangum, OK a daughter of J.B. and Lahoma Stamps Hardwick. She was married to Roy Jennings until his death on Dec. 14, 2007 after 27 years of marriage. She was a dietician cook for St. Joseph’s Hospital working there for 26 years. She was a member of Glory Baptist Church.
Her parents preceded her in death; husband Roy, son Cecil Jr. Thompson; sisters LaQuita Crawford and Betty Jean Smith
Survivors include children, Kathy Schaffer of Deer Trail, CO, Cynthia Thompson of Paris, Tammy Woolridge of Kilgore, Angela Malone of Paris, Rhonda Kindle of Blackwall, OK; 13 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild and a sister Moena Koeltzow of Greeley, Co.
Online condolences may be made at www.fry-gibbs.com.