OBITUARY: Tetlow Parham Park

July 6, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

Tetlow Parham Park of Ithaca, N.Y. passed away unexpectedly in her home on Thursday, May 20th, 2021 in the presence of her husband of 59 years and her two beloved dogs.

Tetlow was born Elizabeth Tetlow Parham, known to everyone as Tet, because her mother never referred to her as Elizabeth.  Tetlow said she never felt like an “Elizabeth” anyway.

With seasonal residence in Boca Grande for almost 30 years, Tetlow was born on October 17, 1939 in Henderson, North Carolina, a small Southern town, and was the daughter of William Brooks Parham and Jenny Newell Parham. She attended the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, NC. Tetlow met her husband, Roy H. Park, Jr. through a blind date set up by two of Roy’s best friends. She determined quickly on that date, that Roy was the one for her, and they married two years later at the small Methodist church on the main street in Chapel Hill, N.C. As Roy’s career in advertising and marketing took him to Ithaca, New York City, Coral Gables, Rye, N.Y., Charlotte, N.C. and Ithaca once again, Tetlow was by his side, adjusting and adapting to whatever the move might bring. Through Roy’s launching of his own company, Park Outdoor in Ithaca, Tetlow established a home in her community and participated in many community activities and formed great friendships with so many wonderful people.

Tetlow’s pride and joy were their children, Elizabeth and Trip, and she was a loving and supportive mother, motivating them both to use their unique talents to attend college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study Business and Journalism, respectively. Upon graduation, Elizabeth worked as a corporate banker at Bank of America for 13 years and Trip was recruited by multiple advertising agencies over a number of years. Trip is now a successful artist in nine galleries up and down the East Coast. Tetlow, together with her husband and their children, was a director of Triad Foundation which supports non-profit entities in Boca Grande and elsewhere. In fact, the Foundation has donated more than $1 million to Boca Grande causes.

As a director of Triad Foundation for many years, Tetlow particularly enjoyed supporting medical programs since she was always intrigued by medicine.  As a child, Tetlow made house calls with her grandfather who was a doctor in Franklinton, N.C.  She had a wealth of medical knowledge and was always her family’s first call when anyone was sick. She also worked in a medical clinic to put Roy through his Cornell MBA program. He is currently a member of the Cornerstone Society and the Board of Trustees of the Boca Grande Health Clinic Foundation, Inc., and they both helped fund the renovation of the Boca Health Clinic Annex.

Tetlow and Roy enjoyed spending time at their homes in Atlantic Beach, N.C. and Boca Grande. Tetlow always enjoyed the beach’s beautiful sunrises and sunsets and loved nature in every form. She was particularly fond of flowers and had an extensive garden – orchids were her favorite. She also loved their many dogs, particularly her rottweilers and Australian shepherds.

Tetlow was a true steel magnolia. She loved everything Southern and brought many traditions with her wherever she lived. She was a gracious host and loved to dine with their many friends, often closing a restaurant down as a result of having just too much fun to leave. With a twinkle in her eye, she loved a pillow that said “Don’t mistake endurance for hospitality” because it reminded her of the long afternoons entertaining guests for lunch.

In true form, Tetlow had just requested that Roy make her a Mint Julep moments before she passed away.

She is survived by her loving husband Roy H. Park Jr. their daughter, Elizabeth Park Fowler and her husband Troy of Tampa; son, Roy H. Park III (Trip) and his wife Laura of Charlotte, N.C; seven grandchildren: Noble Brooks Fowler, Chase Hampton Fowler, Elizabeth Sumner Park, Samantha Tetlow Fowler, Roy Hampton Park IV, Lawson Brooks Park, and Cameron Parham Park.