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Bertha Parker

Updated: Feb 7

Bertha Eileen (Dilley) Frakes Parker died January 30, 2024. She was born April 26, 1925, in Webster City, Iowa, to Ethel and Vernon Dilley.

On June 26, 1945, Bertha married Earl Thomas Frakes, a young paratrooper serving with the 101st Airborne division of the United States Army. During the invasion of Normandy, France in World War II, Earl was injured, captured, and held for several months in a POW camp. Upon his release and return following the war, the couple settled in the Des Moines area where they raised their family and were together until Earl’s passing in 1997. The two were active volunteers in their community and in the West Des Moines United Methodist Church, where they were founding members and she taught Sunday school. In other volunteer service that spanned many years, Bertha especially loved manning the election polls with best friends, Bev, Mary Lou, and Virginia. In addition, Bertha worked at the Des Moines Golf & Country Club and for Mister Donut, where she was fondly known as the Donut Lady.

In retirement, Bertha and Earl wintered in Texas for several seasons and relished spending more time with friends and family. They had fifteen favorite grandchildren. Bertha’s dearest roles were Wife, Mom, and Grandma. She cherished Life’s celebrations and special moments, dancing, playing cards, camping, witty exchanges, visits, and memories made and shared with her kids, grandkids, and their families – as well as any picture of a grand, great-grand or great-great-grandchild.

On December 29, 2001, Bertha married Lester “Dick” Parker and her family circle grew.

Bertha is survived by her husband Dick; daughters Carol Palmer and Bea Fouche; sons Tom (Marsha) Frakes and Tim (Kristine) Frakes; and son-in-law Ron Schiller, Sr. Also surviving her are fourteen grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews and her dear friend, Beverly.

Bertha was predeceased by her parents, one sister and seven brothers, first husband Earl Frakes, Sr., daughter Cheryl Schiller, grandson Randy Schiller, and countless friends and other relatives.

Remembrances and visitation with family will be on Saturday, February 10th (12 – 4 p.m.) at Merle Hay Funeral Home. A private family service for interment of cremains will be held on a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to UnityPoint Hospice – Taylor House in Des Moines (UnityPoint Hospice - Taylor House) or directed to the family.



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