AUBURN — Arlene Tufts Parent Cook, 82, died Friday, April 23, at the Hospice House after a short illness.
She was born May 24, 1927, the daughter of G. Royal and Bernice Harlow Tufts.
She was active in musical circles in her youthful years. In 1945, she graduated from Edward Little High School, one of the top 10 in her class. In 1949, she graduated from Bates College with a major in sociology.
After Bates, she became a social worker within the Department of Health and Welfare in the Child Welfare Division for several years. She continued her education the years she raised her children in order to qualify for a teacher’s certificate, teaching in the social studies department under Geneva Kirk from the 1960s to 1980. She then became a partner in Cook’s Lobster House until it was sold in 1987.
While teaching at Lewiston High School, she initiated three new courses, sociology, psychology and a social worker practioner class in conjunction with Dr. Stover of Tri-County Mental Health. The students actively participated after completing their classes. This was was very similar to today’s Big Brother and Big Sister programs.
In later years, she served as a volunteer at Central Maine Medical Center, as well as a psychology class based on the “Life Cycle.” She also served as an instructor in the Lewiston Night School program for several years.
She is survived by a daughter, Karen Parent; a son, Curt Parent; four grandsons; and two great-grandsons.
Since receiving her terminal diagnosis in April 2009, she choreographed each moment. She authored her own obituary, designated new homes for many of her worldly possessions, and arranged her funeral. Honoring her wishes, there will be no public service.
Russell Park became her last “home.” A big thanks to Danielle and Linda and the other warm and caring staff for the stable, homelike environment. Their superb care and supportive attitudes will not be forgotten.
A very special thank-you to the gentle, kind-hearted professionals of the Hospice House team, and to Kathy Moore and Oralee O’Neil for their home based hospice care and support.
To everyone that touched our mother’s life and ours without prejudice during this walk and before, a heartfelt thank-you to all.