Frances Warfield Parrack, age 78, passed away suddenly at home in Silver Spring, MD, on May 10, 2021. Francie, as she was known, was a dedicated quilter, knitter, collector and friend and helper to many in the community. She is survived by her loving husband Ray; daughters Janice Parrack and Christine Parrack Shields (Alan); grandchildren Parker and Alaina. Francie was predeceased by her parents and her sister Mary Trevelyn Warfield of Baltimore.
Born in Baltimore, MD, on May 5, 1943, Francie was the daughter of Thomas Pettit Warfield and Frances Creaghan Warfield. She was a graduate of Baltimore’s Roland Park Country School and was a Maryland Badminton Association player in high school. She continued her education at Centenary College for Women in Hackettstown, NJ, majoring in merchandising. There she was active in the Delta Psi Omega theatrical fraternity. After graduation Francie worked as a buyer for women’s separates at Hutzler’s Department Store in Baltimore. This led to buying trips first to New York City then to France, England and Italy. It was in New York City that she gained a greater appreciation of the theater. Her overseas travel began a great interest in paintings and sculpture.
It was in a History of Art class at Johns Hopkins that she met her future husband, A. Ray Parrack, Jr. She and Ray married in 1968. Following Ray to posts across the globe led Francie to develop her love of art that began on buying trips. Posts include Athens, Greece and Moscow, USSR.
As the mother of two daughters Francie enjoyed including them in her activities. They stuffed turkeys at Thanksgiving and Christmas, baked cookies during the year and dyed eggs at Easter. No birthday was complete unless it was celebrated with a cake made from her mother’s recipe. These traditions continued with the grandchildren. She loved the holidays... especially Christmas.
Francie loved working with her hands. She knitted beautiful sweaters and crafted beautiful quilts from crib size to king size. She was one of the original members of the Nimble Fingers Quilting group in Montgomery County, MD. Among the things they made were quilts for the disadvantaged and for women and children in shelters. Later she took up making intricate doll figures.
When her daughters were in high school Francie worked at Paint Branch High School, Montgomery County Public Schools, as an instructional assistant to help students master the skills needed to pass math and social studies tests mandated by the state of Maryland.
Francie was always there for her family driving carpools and organizing home repairs while Ray was traveling. She tolerated the rigors of overseas assignments and lived through some harrowing events like a fire at the American Embassy in Moscow. That event brought families together to feed and support each other. She was one of the key participants who maintained an almost annual tradition of a “Moscow Reunion” for all those who shared in that fire experience. The fire was in 1977 but those traditions continued until halted by COVID.
Her desire to stay connected to people was truly impressive. She was on the phone and at her computer most days and evenings chatting with friends. The bridges she built will stand forever. She always served as a shoulder to cry on or a bit of useful advice. Like her mother before her she was very religious and was an active member at the Church of the Resurrection, Burtonsville, MD. She attended Mass every week, and for a time watered the plants, helped collect and organize the food pantry for the poor or made quilts and other items to be raffled off.
She was a 20-year cancer survivor, a loving wife, mother and grandmother who loved nothing more than spending time with those grandchildren. COVID took away close visits until this past Easter when the family was finally able to spend time together indoors without masks. It was fitting that her two grandchildren visited her on her 78th birthday the Wednesday before Mother’s Day. She passed away the morning after Mother’s Day.
She left behind a rich museum filled with wonderful memories of times past. Family photos and heirlooms, items collected while traveling and items she personally made. Artifacts adorn the horizontal and vertical surfaces of her home. Each has its own story to be told repeatedly to future generations. She left us a physical treasure trove of love as well as memories that can never be put into a physical object. A remarkable woman and friend. A daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother who gave all she had to those she loved right up to the very end.
A visitation will be held at Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P.A., 12540 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD 21029 on Wednesday, May 19 from 2 to 4pm and 6 to 8pm. Wake and Funeral Mass will be held on Friday 28 May at the Church of the Resurrection, 3315 Greencastle Road Burtonsville, Maryland 20866. Wake from 10-11 and Mass starting at 11. Interment will be private and will be at a later date.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be video recorded and streamed live online and made available on-demand. Please click the link to watch Mass of Christian Burial - Frances Parrack. To follow along with the Service Program click the link to Download/ Open Program (which is located below the Memorial Video on this page).
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, 405 Williams Court, Suite 120, Baltimore, MD 21220 ATTN: RFL (Relay for Life) Southern Montgomery County Maryland in Memory of Francie Parrack. Or donations may be made to the Manna Food Center, 12301 Old Columbia Pike, Ste 200, Silver Spring, MD 20904.
To send flowers to Frances' family, please visit our floral store.
American Cancer Society Relay for Life (RFL)
405 Williams Court, Suite 120, Baltimore MD 21220
ATTN: RFL (Relay for Life) Southern Montgomery County Maryland in Memory of Francie Parrack
Manna Food Center
12301 Old Columbia Pike, Ste 200, Silver Spring MD 20904