Ann Mangiaracina Parker, 100 years, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2020. She was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1919 as the seventh of nine children in the Mangiaracina family. A supportive, caring sister to her many siblings, Ann helped to ensure that her family remained close throughout life. Though Ann was the only one of the children to attend college, receiving her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Park College, she retained the competitive nature her family knew and loved on the school basketball team. Ann met and soon married her true love Frank Parker in January of 1943; she spent most of their married years as a loving mother to their two children, Anita and Thom. Upon Frank’s early death in 1967, she earned a Master’s degree in Elementary Education and went on to teach second grade for many decades at Southeast Elementary School in the Park Hill school district. She was adored by her students whom she allowed to sit next to her desk or under their own desks to do their schoolwork. For years, Ann was an active participant at Christ Presbyterian Church in Kansas City, lifting her voice in the choir and serving on the church’s Board of Directors. Ann was a familiar face in her community, and her positive spark was well known at the post office, Walmart, and McDonalds near her Parkville, MO neighborhood.
The primary joy of Ann's life was her extended Italian-American family. For many years she took the role of hosting family holiday gatherings, remembered today for their traditional, frenzied intimacy which could only be accomplished by so many joyful spirits under the same roof. Ann was always ready for the next adventure and relished Sunday lunches, fishing trips, cruises, and trips to Europe. Of her many travels, Ann always held dear her expedition with a large group of family and friends to her homestead in Castelvetrano, Sicily, where she was able to visit her Italian family. She will always be remembered by younger generations of the Mangiaracina family for her annual gift of paper Christmas Bells adorned with coins and candy to help them count down the days until Christmas. Her generous spirit also manifested in her love of sewing handmade quilts for each family member as presents. She played countless card games with her sisters, frequented casinos, adored chocolates, and reveled at Winstead’s Diner.
Ann is survived by her daughter Anita Salem; son Thom Parker and wife Cinda Parker; grandchildren Laura Salem and husband Rob Schnittker, Matt Salem and wife Elizabeth Salem, Brent Parker, Corissa Baker and husband Justin Baker, Chelsea Kirk; great grandchildren Julia, Andrew, Hadley, Allison, and William; beloved sisters Marie Gray and Antoinette Como; and many nieces and nephews. She will leave a long line of people remembering her gentle ways and generosity. A celebration of life for Ann will be held at a later date.