Rae H. Parks of Sag Harbor, who would have celebrated her 101st birthday on Wednesday, died on Aug. 11 at Southampton Hospital after a short illness. A former executive director of the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreation Center, Mrs. Parks lived for five decades in the Gull Rock Road house in Sag Harbor Hills that her husband, Dr. Mark E. Parks, built for the couple in 1951. He died in 2003.
Born to Annie G. Goodwin and Harry Hairston in Brooklyn on Sept. 5, 1911, Mrs. Parks and her husband met as youngsters summering in Sag Harbor in the 1920s. Throughout their years together, they enjoyed cruises to islands such as Barbados as well as a few trips to Europe. Dr. Parks was a professor of biology at Brooklyn College.
Mrs. Parks was among the Sag Harborites whose reminiscences were published in 2007 in “Voices of Sag Harbor: A Village Remembered.” Throughout her life, she enjoyed reading, and could often be seen at the John Jermain Memorial Library in Sag Harbor. Her grandson, Mark Whitney Parks, who was her primary caretaker in her final years, said she was known for “fantastic needlepointing,” with pieces displayed at home and in the village.
Mrs. Parks had worked for a New York State employment agency as a secretary in the 1950s and 1960s. In the 1970s and ’80s, after the couple moved full-time to Sag Harbor, she became a director, and then executive director, of the Bridgehampton center.
In addition to Mr. Parks, she is survived by a sister, Jacqueline H. Heady of Sag Harbor and New York City, and a great-grandson, as well as a niece, nephew, and great-nieces and nephews. A brother, Whitney Hairston, died before her.
A memorial gathering will be held in the Parish Hall of Christ Episcopal Church in Sag Harbor on Sunday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Donations in Mrs. Parks’s memory have been suggested to East Hampton Meals on Wheels, 33 Newtown Lane, East Hampton 11937.