Annie Elizabeth Oakley Parsons, 84, went to be with the Lord Tuesday, September 12, 2023. Annie was born to Cary and Mildred Oakley on July 10, 1939, in Dora, Alabama. Due to her ever-loving and devoted parents, she enjoyed an amazing childhood growing up in the countryside in Gorgas, Alabama. She earned bachelor’s degrees in secondary education and home economics at the University of Alabama, where she met the love of her life, James “Jim” Parsons.
Annie and Jim were fortunate to live in several places, including Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, England and Wales before settling in Lakeland Florida. Annie was a dedicated teacher for 23 years in the Polk County school system. Annie had a positive impact teaching at various nontraditional schools with at-risk students.
Annie and Jim owned a beach house on Little Gasparilla Island which served as a place to explore her beach and shelling passion, often finding shells with “character.” For over 30 years Shell Tree Cottage provided a favorite gathering place for many spring break and summer vacations for her beloved children and grandchildren. When not creating memories at the beach, Annie pursued her second passion of gardening, taught to her by her parents during her childhood days in Alabama in her backyard. In retirement, she was also active with two gardening clubs, Engineer’s Wives Club, The Daughters of the American Revolution and volunteering at The Boutique, a thrift store that supported charitable organizations within Lakeland. She was also an exceptional cook and enjoyed sharing her creations with friends and family.
Annie was preceded in death by daughters Heather Parsons and Kelly Ann Parsons and her parents Cary and Mildred Oakley. Surviving are her husband of 64 years Jim Parsons, and children Christopher Parsons (Barbara), Michelle Parsons Johnson (Randy) and Timothy Parsons (Michelle Lynn).
She adored her grandchildren, Ryan Parsons, Quentin Parsons (Kristin), Hunter Johnson (Yoli), Madison Moore (Jacob), Adam Parsons (Kallie), Utah Johnson and McKinney Parsons. She was thrilled to welcome great-grandchildren Cooper Parsons, Annie Parsons, Miller Moore and Wiley Moore. She is also survived by brother Carey Oakley (Joyce), sisters-in-laws Pat Scible (Jim) and Linda Shaddix and brother-in-law David Parsons (Gayle) as well as a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Annie was a devout Christian who loved First United Methodist Church in Lakeland and appreciated being able to watch livestream services as her health declined. She loved and cherished her many friends and family. Annie was a warm, caring, and loving lady who will be greatly missed.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Gentry Morrison Funeral Home.