Now Known As: S. Taylor Stephens-ParkerDear EHS Class of 1960,
Now for the Bio:
I went to Phillips University for 1 full year after EHS graduation As a sophomore, I transferred to the University of Kansas, and was planning on nursing. I also met my 1st husband there. Married in Dec. 1962, we moved to Kansas City. I worked at TWA for 2 years while my husband, John H. Burkle, Jr finished his business degree. I quit my job and went back to KU in the Spring of 1965, this time on the KU Med Center Campus in Kansas City, KS. After 2 years and 3 months there, 92 of us student nurses graduated with a BS in Nursing on June 5, 1967! Just 3 days later, our daughter Amy was born at KUMC.
We lived in the KC area for 2 years, during which time our son, John III, was born in Dec. 1968. Six weeks later John got a promotion and a transfer to Chicago where it was freezing cold in February 1969. After 4 years of long winters, John landed a promotion in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area in Texas. My BFF, Eileene (Crook) and her husband, Phil Carey, sang the praises of the Arlington schools.
Amy was 5 and expecting to go to Kindergarten, but Texas didn’t have public Kindergarten! Amy was enrolled in a private school. Solution found!
So, for the most part, I have lived in Arlington for 37 years. I can tell you that a mild Winter in Texas appears to mean a hotter than Hell Summer! My goal is to spend the hottest months in COOL places in 2011. If your Summer and Fall are COOL, I just might have to visit you!
They say that when you buy a new house it is followed by a new baby. Yup. It happened to me. They were right: our 3rd child, Annabeth, was born in Oct. 1973. Anna moved from Austin to Boston this past Summer, trying to achieve COOL temperatures. She is a much-in-demand hair dresser at a large salon and loving her new digs in the NE.
In 1980, after 18 years of marriage and two years of counseling, I filed for a divorce from John. Very shortly thereafter I finished up my Masters Degree in Psychiatric and Mental Health and had launched my career as a Nurse/Clincian at Tarrant County MHMR.
Fourteen months later, a $5000 raise in pay got me 2 stints at John Peter Smith Hospital, the County hospital. There I served in the Psych ER & also as Charge Nurse of the Acute Adult Psychiatric Unit. What a trip that was!!
My next job was as a Weekender at Willow Creek Hospital, in far South Arlington, I was the Charge Nurse on the Adolescent Girls Unit. I can tell you some pretty good stories about those days!!
After 5 ½ years at Willow Creek, a new administration took over. I was hired by a former colleague at Medical Plaza Hospital for the Day Shift Weekend Charge Nurse on the Adult Acute Unit. I worked there for 10 months before the administration closed the unit. I took advantage of being laid-off permanently.
I now had time to plan, plot, and polish my return to the workforce!
My last nursing job for hospital nursing was with Tarrant County MHMR, in July of 1994 thru 1997. This time as Nurse Clinician in the Psych Crisis Clinic. These were some of my most enjoyable years. Our staff was very cohesive and almost like family.
I was looking for something which would be nurturing to myself and others as well. The next day I answered an ad for a live in caregiver for a 94 year old woman. I interviewed with her son, and he hired me on the spot! I started working the next Monday and ended up working there for 4 more years!
In the years since then I have –much to my surprise—(1) become a Master Gardener in 2002 AND become (2) a Citizen Ambassador to the World as a member of Friendship Force International! My dear husband and I have been traveling widely for the last 8 years and hope to keep doing it into our 80s!
This may come as a surprise, but true—I had a baby girl and gave her up for adoption. I had a lot of time to think about it, but doing it was not easy. I was able to find her in 1997 pretty quickly—Trish Belden Rice was 37 when we first talked about our relationship would or could be. Trish was married to Mike Rice and they had a 22 month old girl, Danielle, and they lived in Omaha, NE. It was a VERY EMOTIONAL reunion for both of us in January 1998. They now live in Tomball,TX ,. about 1 hr NW of Houston.—Danielle is 15 and Matthew is 10. Mike works for HP and Trish works for a MD in a family practice clinic nearby. You would know her if you saw her—-she looks just like me!!
Amy is now 43 and is married to Trey Hancock. They live in El Paso, TX, and have 2 children: Josh is 12 and Katie will soon be 10. Amy graduated from UTA and is now home schooling both children. I have to say that I admire her very much—don’t think I could’ve done that! Trey owns his own business, Physical Therapy. Both are now learning how to play tennis.
John will be 42 in Dec. He lives and works in the San Francisco area. He has always liked to take things apart and see what’s up with things. His specialty is working on motorcycles, snowmobiles, and other sport machines. He has 1 son, Johnathan. I feel deep sadness when I think of him. I haven’t seen him since he was 19. Our relationship is pretty pitiful. Though I’d like to mend the relationship, I doubt it will actually happen. I’m grateful I at least know he’s alive and working!
Annabeth is 37. She moved from Austin, TX to Boston, MA just five months ago after passing her GED with flying colors. She quickly found a job with an upscale hair salon in Dedham and now lives enjoys not having a big yard to care for—it gives her time to spend at Cape Cod! She is clearly enjoying living in Boston!
I was divorced for over 20 years when I rescued Judge Hugh Stanton Parker from being single! I had only known him for 19 years when he proposed to me on Feb. 28, 2000. Knowing that this “rescue” could morph into a retreat, I arranged for a friend of mine to officiate at our home wedding March 21, 2000. We wrote our own double ring vows, but when shopping for rings, he was reluctant to buy one for himself! Why? Because he had never worn one before. So I told him that if he didn’t want to wear a ring, then we could just go to a pawn shop and find one for him to use at our double ring wedding, and then just toss it. At this point, he said, “I think I’ve changed my mind. I’ll buy a ring for me, too.” Stan is the best procrastinator I have ever known!! He is also a wonderful husband, Dad, and Grandpa. We’ve enjoyed 10 ½ years of wedded bliss. In those years we have found great pleasure in traveling the world with Friendship Force, International for the past 8 years!
Now that the Entire Class Members of 1960 are of retirement age, I’d like to invite ALL of you to find a Friendship Force Group in your city, state, or region—wherever you are. Start with this website: www.thefriendshipforce.org There are over 350 chapters world wide. We have found that if you put your feet under your hosts’ table, you sleep in their home, you spend time with them, you will come to learn that ALL people want most of the things that we, too, hold near and dear to our hearts. We begin with:
PEACE ON EARTH! AND LET IT BEGIN WITH ME!