My niece Patricia asked me if I would publish on this blog the letters of condolences written by a good friend, Bob Ervin, about her mother, Kallie Foutz Parker (my sister), and about her father, Norton S. Parker (my brother-in-law).
I am happy to do so.
You have met Kallie Foutz on the pages of this blog before as My Sister, the Ugly Duckling and you will meet her again on future pages. As stated at the end of the Ugly Duckling article, “She married a screen writer and published novelist, living in Hollywood California and New York City with her husband.” Her husband was Norton S. Parker, the subject of Bob Ervin’s second letter of condolence. Norton led a most interesting life and had a strong influence on my life. He will be the subject of future pages in this blog. Norton died before Kallie, so don’t let the order of the letters confuse you.
Here are the letters.
Kallie Foutz Parker
Robert G. Ervin
Professional Writting Services
12 February 1981
Dear Pat and Karl …
So many of us spend our time on earth looking to others to tell us why we’re here and what our purpose is. Kallie was one of those unique, incandescent human beings who knew why she was here and what her purpose on our earth was.
Kallie was an alternative energy source who with a smile, laugh, quip or touch could rekindle the lightless spirit in those of us who were fortunate enough to cross her horizon.
Our individual and collective grief from no longer having her as a Mother, friend, companion or ally are reflections of our selfishness because our lives were so enriched and fueled by her love, wisdom compassion and special blend of humor. Although our bereavement is intensely painful and tangible, I think about those who never got to meet and know Kallie. They are truly the ones who lost the most because they will never be able to say they knew her.
I can take selfish pride in proclaiming that I’ve had two very special ladies in my life … my Mom and Kallie. In many ways they were different … but they had one large measure of commonality. They loved life and people, which was continuously reflected in their zeal for caring, understanding and giving. Kallie was a giver in every sense of that word … a never ending flow of reaching out to others to infuse them with her energy and wisdom. Kallie was a donor of life because she had that rare gift of understanding life and mortality.
So I do not have to say, goodbye Kallie. Kallie has not left us, because her influence in our lives will endure until the time comes for us to again be joined in a dimension of time and space that she can tell us about. Kallie simply has a change of address .. but not of spirit or purpose!
Know that I am always a call away … a letter away .. and in thought as close to the two of you as your breath. Our friendship and love have no limitations .. nor does distance impose any barrier. Through Kallie’s giving, she taught us how to care about each other .. and I DO CARE!!!
Norton S. Parker
Robert G. Ervin
Motion Picture Script Writing
Executive Speech Writing
[undated, circa July 1969]
Dear Kallie, Pat and Carl,
Norton Parker was an uncommon man and his knowing that was always self rewarding. His vitality…determination…professional stature and exacting craftsmanship were never compromised. To have so persevered in a profession where expediency is too often easier than principle was important to him and will not be forgotten by his friends and colleagues.
During the fifteen years I knew him, many instances of his vital participation as a film maker and writer remain with me. I’m happy I knew him. I’m flattered to have had his confidence. I hope I measured up to his expectations as a person and as a professional associate.
Death challenges expressions which adequately reflect one’s sorrow and compassion for those whose loss is most personal. Some-how Norton would have known what to write and now he’s not here to help me find the proper words. For that loss I’m the sorriest.
I hope sincerely that Norton Parker will now find that tranquility which when alive seemed always just beyond his reach.
(signed) Bob Ervin
Robert (Bob) G. Ervin
Bob Ervin, the author of these letters, worked for Norton S. Parker at the Army Pictorial Center and became very good friends with Norton, Kallie, and their daughter Patricia.
Another story told over coffee and biscotti during our morning talks.