MaryAnn (Abernatha) Parks, age 70, of West First Street in Corning, died Sunday, October 29, 2017 at Guthrie Corning Hospital.
MaryAnn was born on January 21, 1947 in Corning to Bernard and Mary (Galle) Woeppel. She married Ray S. Parks, Jr. on August 23, 2000 in Painted Post, NY.
She was graduated from St. Mary's School for the Deaf in Buffalo and then went to work at the Corning Glass Works as a Data Entry Operator for 20 years. In the fall of 1989 she attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to take up accounting as her field. Upon the completion of her field, she moved to Phoenix, AZ, where she found employment at Arizona State University for three years before she took a part-time position as a bus chaperone, and also worked as an instructional aide in the Students with Special Needs Department at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. While in Phoenix she did a variety of volunteer work: teaching ASL classes to preschool deaf students, chairing Miss Deaf America Pageant, and also chaired the Board of Directors of Arizona AIDS Services for the Deaf. There, she met her future husband and moved together to Corning in 1998.
She and her husband operated their own restaurant business (CECE Restaurant) in Painted Post from 2000 to 2002. After that, she attended Keuka College to complete her BA Degree in Education and ASL instruction in 2004.
She was employed by Corning Community College as an American Sign Language Instructor for at least ten years. She possessed a teaching certification from the American Sign Language Teachers Association. Prior to working at CCC, she worked as a teaching aide at the Northeast Elementary School in Ithaca, working with elementary deaf students and also taught ASL at STS BOCES. In spite of her tightly-scheduled activities, Mary Ann was known for her beautiful smile, her faith and love for her family. Among her greatest prides were raising her children, caring for her parents as they aged, and watching her family grow. She enjoyed knitting with her dear friend, Anne Lesso, reading, and walking with her dog, Mattie.
She is survived by her husband Ray S. Parks, Jr.; daughter, Cassie (Alan) Abernatha-Neally of Corning; son, Tom (Amy) Abernatha of Tully, NY; sister, Kathryn Woeppel of Corning; brothers, Joe (Mary) Woeppel of Syracuse, Mike (Wendy) Woeppel of Mountville, PA, and John Woeppel of Syracuse; step son, Ray (Beth) Parks, III of St. Augustine, FL; grandchildren, Cecelia Neally, Collin Neally, Luca Neally, Trey Neally, and Zoey Abernatha; several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Dr. Olmstead, and the staff at Corning Hospital ICU for their compassion and kindness. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, November 1st from 3 - 5 PM at Haughey Funeral Home, Inc., 216 E. First Street, Corning. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9:30 AM on Thursday, November 2nd at St. Mary's Church, 155 State Street in Corning. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made in her name to www.komen.org for breast cancer research or to All Saints Academy, 158 State Street, Corning, NY 14830.
MaryAnn's family entrusted her care to Haughey Funeral Home, Inc.