Ruth Ellen Parks

Ruth Ellen Parks, 72, passed away May 20, 2018. She was born on December 28, 1945 in New Martinsville, WV to Alton and Laura Jolliffe.
Lloyd lost a devoted, patient wife. Leslie, Dave, Jen, Curtis, and Audrey lost a sacrificing mother. Brittany, Alyssa, Alton, and Eli lost a doting grandmother. Joyce, Judy, and David lost a fun-loving sister. John lost a new friend. UMW and the Church lost a dedicated Christian. Amazon lost a voracious reader. The wine industry lost a loyal customer. But Alton and Laura gained a daughter in Heaven. Farewell Sweet Nana. You gave so much, and asked for nothing in return. Thank you for always being there for us, listening to us, helping us, forgiving us, and always, always loving us. You were simply magnificent.


  1. Wow! She lived just across the street from me when I was growing up. I remember her very well–of course just when she was in high school, or before. She was two years ahead of me in school. My blessings to you, Ruth Ellen!

    Robert Thomas
  2. By the way, her mother was my mother’s best friend.

    Robert Thomas
  3. So very sorry for your loss. Ruth Ellen was a favorite early childhood playmate as we lived a block away from each other. We played with dolls, lots of dress ups, made tents over the clotheslines, played cards on rainy days on Linda Forbes’ porch. Sometimes we got to play in Jolliffe’s garage where her Dad had some antiques. We ran around in our bathing suits so we could play in the street after a big rain sent water gushing ankle deep. One our favorite things to do was having a lemonade stand under the tree in her yard. Wonderful memories….

    Linda Burley Markey
  4. Everyone remembers their first crush, their first love and their first kiss. Ruth Ellen was all three of those for me. We first met in the 6th grade and I adored her through the 7th and 8th grade. I remember giving her the most cherished item of the day, a rabbit’s foot on a key chain. I lived on McEldowney Avenue, about 4 blocks from the Jolliffes. I had an evening paper route (mornings on the weekend) and I was proud to claim Alton and Laura as my prized customers because every day I could peddle my Schwin bicycle to the Jolliffes to deliver their paper and with luck, Ruth Ellen would come out and speak to me. There was a Dairy Queen next door to the Jolliffes house and on Fridays, when I was flush with cash from my paper route, I would buy Ruth Ellen (and me) an ice cream cone dipped in hot caramel. I vividly remember when Mr and Mrs Jolliffe invited me to accompany them to an all day family outing at Grant Park in Wheeling. I also have very fond memories of parties at the Jolliffe home where we would dance to the Platters on Ruth Ellen’s brand new 45 RPM record player that had an automatic record changer. Our favorite song was “Only You”. Oh, and Ruth Ellen was also my first slow dance. I lost contact with Ruth Ellen after the fall of 1959 when I went off to boarding school (The Mercersburg Academy) in Pennsylvania and my family moved back to our home in South Carolina. Over the years I have thought about Ruth Ellen often and hoped that our paths would cross again one day and we could tell each other about our hopes and dreams and brag about our children. Sadly, that will not happen on this earth. What I remember most about Ruth Ellen was her beauty, her intelligence and her wonderful sense of humor. To Lloyd I would say, you really found a wonderful wife. To Leslie, Dave, Jen, Curtis and Audrey I would say that I hope you inherited your mother’s wonderful sense of humor and her wit and intelligence. I know you all miss her terribly. So does everyone else who knew her, including me. D. Paul Sommerville, Beaufort, SC

    D. Paul Sommerville

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