Betty May Parker

Hale, Michigan
September 28, 1922 - July 8, 2019


Friday, July 12, 2019 from 4 to 7 pm at the Buresh Funeral Home in Hale.

Service Location

Buresh Funeral Home, 121 South Washington Street, Hale, Michigan 48739


Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 11:00 am

Obituary Notice

Betty Byce Parker
1922 - 2019

Betty Byce Parker, an avid naturalist, legendary baker, and pioneering free spirit, who resurrected her grandparents’ century-old farmhouse and made it her own, died on Monday, July 8, 2019, in Hale, Michigan. She was 96.

Born on September 28, 1922, in Flint, MI, Ms. Parker grew up in the Huron Forest area of northern Michigan where both sets of her grandparents were rooted. She spent her middle years in the Detroit area where she raised a family and worked in retail and real estate. In the late 1970s she moved back north to the rural homestead of 80 acres (which became known as “The Farm”) in South Branch, into the house that was built in 1902 by her grandparents, George and Lillian Byce.

A pragmatic conservationist at heart, Ms. Parker revived the farmhouse, developed a robust garden, and grew, gathered, traded, and hunted most of her food there for the rest of her life. She came to a deeper understanding of the local birds, wildlife, and plantlife, and was happy to teach and share her knowledge with those who came to visit her. Loved and cherished by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and the residents of South Branch, Ms. Parker would often sit on the porch of her house, where she enjoyed company and conversation, but also the easy solitude of her yard and landscape. For those who had the privilege to know her, she was never short on stories or lessons. As one of her granddaughters recalled, “Gram showed me how to plant one tiny seed at a time, several inches from all the others, one-by-one, in a neat row. Because, she said, every seed is precious and carries life and sustenance and needs room to flourish and fill its potential.”

Betty Byce Parker is survived by her brother, Ormel (Jim) Byce of Flint, MI and her sister, Madeline Byce Miller of Jackson, MI; and her four children: Sandra Parker Karolak of Beverly Hills, MI; Karen Parker Huedepohl of Whitefish Bay, WI; Alexis Parker of Denver, CO; and Alexander Parker of Marco Island, FL. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.

The family would like to acknowledge the staff of Hale Creek Manor and Becky Arnold for their loving care.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Goodar Township Volunteer Fire Department, 4471 East County Line Road, South Branch, MI 48761.

Ms. Parker's funeral service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, July 13, at the Buresh Funeral Home in Hale, MI. The visitation will take place from 4 to 7 pm on Friday, July 12. She will buried at Oak Grove Cemetery in South Branch, MI.


Goodar Township Fire Department


Oak Grove Cemetery


Our hearts are with you.
She was a wonderful women and you are a wonderful daughter .
Bob & Gloria
— Gloria &Bob Tweadey
Betty was truly an unforgettable woman. I was blessed to have met her and enjoy her stories and life lessons. She did a remarkable job maintaining the Farm.

Sorry for your loss love, peace and prayers for the Family
— Pam Potter
It was a priviledge to know Betty.
— Becky Byrd

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