Mary Lynn Parks

Obituary of Mary Lynn Parks

Mary Lynn (Schoeninger) Parks passed from this life at 8 PM, September 26, 2019, with family at her side. She chose life to the end, desiring to remain, even as her body succumbed to lung cancer.

Mary Lynn is survived by her son Christopher Parks, and daughter-in-law Vivian Sessoms, of New Jersey, daughter Laura Parks of New York, sister Sandra Schoeninger of Pennsylvania, brother Douglas Schoeninger, his wife Frances of Pennsylvania, brother Kenneth Schoeninger, his wife Lynn of New York, cousins Bruce Cozzini of California, Gina Cozzini of Virginia and Diane Taylor of Oklahoma and many close friends in Smallwood and Riverdale, NY.

Mary Lynn was born March 2nd, 1946 in Milwaukee, WI, the daughter of Irvin Schoeninger and Doris Purvis Schoeninger, the youngest of 4 siblings. She was raised and attended school in Whitefish Bay, a northern suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Mary Lynn lost her mother to breast cancer when she was 13 after a painful illness. Helping to care for her mother and being present to her father shaped in Mary Lynn a deep compassion for others and a sensitive kindness that persisted throughout her life. She developed a deep bond with her father who encouraged her decorating. In 1964 she entered Southern Illinois University to pursue a major in Interior design. After her first year of college, Mary Lynn married John Parks, her high school love and then joined him at Iowa State University, in Ames, where he obtained a degree in Veterinary Medicine. In Ames their son Chris was born in 1966 and their daughter, Laura in 1970. John's veterinary career took them to Chicago, IL, Hanover, MA, Quincy, MA, Seagirt, NJ, and to Riverdale, NY in 1972.

In Riverdale, Mary Lynn's Interior Design career blossomed. She bought into Riverdale Interiors, where she sold carpets, wallpaper, curtains, etc. and gradually accumulated loyal, devoted customers who loved her eye for design and her warmth. After she sold her interest in the store, she continued to create beautiful interior spaces for her customers' homes, vacation houses, and businesses. Mary Lynn loved baking and delighted her family with delicious cookies (butternut snowballs a favorite), pies and cakes. Holiday sibling gatherings were always blessed with her baked treats. She excelled as a seamstress, making her own clothes, and tailoring her children's store-bought wear to fit perfectly.

Always the encourager, Mary Lynn delighted in her son Chris's developing music career, marveling as he excelled at the bass guitar and arranging, recording, producing and writing music for others, enjoying her daughter-in-law Vivian's exquisite voice and the lyrics she and Chris wrote together. And she was so proud of her daughter Laura, who, in spite of limitations, has found her place and way to contribute. She guided Laura to become as independent as possible, to be positive, and be happy.

After Mary Lynn's marriage ended, she birthed another dream, the purchase and restoration of a log house on a lake in Smallwood, NY, in 1982, rekindling fond memories of childhood vacations in a log cabin on Crescent Lake in Northern Wisconsin. With Edward Lubniewski, a consummate carpenter, builder and contractor, they turned an unstable, poorly anchored log, lake front cottage into a beautiful sturdy house with a stellar view of the lake. In the process, they fell in love and created a committed partnership lasting through thick and thin until Ed's death July 15, 2019. Together they created beautiful flower and vegetable gardens, made jam, canned fruits and vegetables and enjoyed their life through many seasons with friends in Smallwood and Riverdale.

Mary Lynn was gifted with fierce determination, especially when it came to caring for those close to her. Family and friends who knew Mary Lynn well, know her love, compassion, kindness and unrelenting commitment to care for those she loved. Caring for others often delayed caring for herself. In her last days, from her hospital bed she was still looking out for others. Her voice gone, she would whisper, take care of yourself, get enough sleep, make sure you……

Mary Lynn, you loved well. Be blessed. Rest in peace.

A celebration of life in Mary Lynn's honor will be held at the Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Firehouse on Sunday, November 3rd at 1:00 pm.

If you'd like to make a contribution to honor Mary Lynn's life and her care for others, Mary Lynn's family ask that you send a donation to: Services for the Developmentally Challenged, Checks made to SDC, Attn: Accounting Dept, 5475 Fieldston Rd, Bronx, NY 10471 or the Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Fire Department at: SMWV Volunteer Fire Co., PO Box 124, Mongaup Valley, NY 12762. Condolences may be sent to PO Box 12, Smallwood, NY 12762 or posted on the website of the VanInwegen Kenny Inc. Funeral Home, www.kennyfuneralhome.com.

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Sunday
3
November

Memorial Service

1:00 pm
Sunday, November 3, 2019
Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Fire House
72 Ballard Road
Smallwood, New York, United States
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