Yvonne Parkes died on January 5, 2023, in Highland Hospital, Rochester, NY following a two-year battle with cancer. She was 91.
Yvonne was born in Buffalo, NY to Leon and Gertrude Taylor of Bradford, PA. She lived in Bradford all of her childhood years. In high school, she became an accomplished musician and began development of her beautiful singing voice.
After high school she attended and graduated from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where she met James Parkes, a fellow student, whom she married in 1952. Her husband’s work led the couple and their two children to live in Brooklyn, Syracuse, Ithaca, Hawaii, Florida, back to Ithaca, and in 1980 on to Alaska, and back again to the Finger Lakes to settle into retirement in Trumansburg, NY where they lived for 30 years. In 2018, Yvonne and her husband moved to Rochester to live at River Edge Manor, a senior living community, where they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in July 2022.
Along the trail, Yvonne earned a teaching degree from Ithaca College, became a music teacher in the Ithaca elementary schools, and taught voice at The University of Alaska-Fairbanks, and at The Trumansburg Conservatory of Fine Arts. She volunteered for many years as a staff member with the Ulysses Historical Society Museum in Trumansburg. In their middle years, Yvonne and her husband traveled to Europe several times and once to Japan.
Singing was Yvonne’s passion. She sang in numerous musical productions in Ithaca and Fairbanks, and in churches in both cities. As a member of the Ithaca Community Chorus, she traveled to Russia in 1994 where the group performed concerts in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Yvonne loved her family, friends, all of her schoolchildren, and her own voice teachers. She loved and respected the men and women with whom she worked, and those with whom she sang. All this love was reciprocated. In the end, she knew she had lived a useful, interesting, and happy life. Her husband and daughter-in-law were at her bedside when she died.
Yvonne is survived by her husband, son Kevin, daughter Jenni, daughter-in-law Joanne, sister-in-law Elsie, nieces Claire and Kathy, and nephew Kreg.
The family wishes to gratefully thank those friends who gave emotional support to Yvonne during her final and difficult two years.
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