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Subject: Marcella Rinehart Parker dies at 91

Widow of Actor Fess Parker (died 2010)
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Date Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 10:09:46am


Marcella Rinehart Parker passed away on Friday, April 5th at her home in Santa Barbara, CA at the age of 91. She was surrounded by members of her family in the days and hours leading up to her passing.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa on March 18, 1928, Marcy was the middle child in a family of seven, born to Clarence and Merle Rinehart. Not long after her 18th birthday she headed west to Colorado to pursue a career as a singer. Her voice, charisma and poise opened many doors for her. She had standing gigs at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs (where she was also crowned Miss Pikes Peak in 1947) and at The Brown Palace in Denver.

California was the next stop where she worked at the Penny - Owsley Music Store, sang at The Zebra Room in the Ambassador Hotel and at the invitation of Bob Hope, traveled to Korea to perform for U.S. troops on a goodwill tour that also included singer and actress Debbie Reynolds.

California is where she met and married her one true love. In typical Hollywood fashion she met her future husband, Fess Parker, at a swimming pool complex. She was visiting a friend and he had snuck in to cool off. They married at El Montecito Presbyterian Church in Montecito in January of 1960 and held their wedding reception at The Talk of the Town. Marcy and Fess were married for 50 years and raised two children, Eli Parker and Ashley Parker Snider, both of Santa Barbara.

Marcy was a talented interior designer who first practiced her skills on over a dozen homes in Los Angeles and Hope Ranch, and later was instrumental in helping the family launch their winery in Los Olivos. She was known for her fabulous parties and for being an exemplary hostess. Her love of music never left her and in 2000 she recorded a CD of ballads with her friend and accompanist Bill Powell of Solvang, CA. With Bill at the piano, Marcy and Fess would headline the much beloved Thursday night sing-a-longs at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn in Los Olivos.

Toward the end of her life Marcy was blessed to have received tremendous care from Dr. Bruce Bailey, the dedicated staff at Nursecore, Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care as well as her wonderful caregiver Maria Ibarra and assistant Leslie Wilson.

Marcy is survived by two children, eleven grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren.

A Private Service is planned. Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.

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Subject Author Date
Pic of Fess and Marcella.Wednesday, April 17, 11:10:47am
Fess died on his wife's 82nd birthday back in 2010. They had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. (NT).Wednesday, April 17, 12:40:43pm

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