Age 71 of Oakwood, Ohio
Lorraine was born and grew up in New York City. She is survived by her husband Dr. Dean Parmelee of Oakwood, son Reid Parmelee of New York City, and brother John and his wife Jeanette Damaduk also of New York City. Lorraine graduated from Richmond College of the City College of New York system with highest honors in microbiology. Early on she worked at Brooklyn Jewish Hospital, then moved to Rochester, New York to take a research position at the University of Rochester. In 1972, while campaigning for George McGovern for President, she and Dean met while he was a medical student. They worked valiantly for McGovern and did not lose their zeal for the principles of democracy, human rights, and non-violence despite his unfortunate defeat. They moved to Boston where Lorraine completed a masters graduate program in Early Childhood Development at Wheelock College while Dean endured a couple of residencies at the Massachusetts General Hospital. She also worked as the Administrator for the Harvard Law School Health Service for several years.
Reid, their only son was born in 1982 in Boston, and they moved to Virginia in 1983 with some fear that he might develop a Southern accent. First Williamsburg, then Richmond became home for many wonderful years. Lorraine’s parents also moved from New York to Richmond to relish the warmer weather and try a different culture. It all worked out well in Virginia - wonderful people, history, friends; Reid only occasionally will use a Southern word. Lorraine worked for several years there for her friend Lorna who owned ‘The Attic,’ Richmond’s premier antiques and furniture consignment store. It was there she learned way too much about such things and she and mother began to collect, becoming adroit at hiding or disguising items from Dean the minimalist.
The move to Dayton in 2002 when Dean became the Associate Dean for Medical Education at Boonshoft School of Medicine began a whole new set of adventures. Reid went off to the University of Chicago. Lorraine re-invigorated her interest in nature photography and began entering regional competitions for her works and local restaurants like the Winds in Yellow Springs invited her to exhibit her works on several occasions. She ‘won’ many prizes at juried shows at Troy-Haner Cultural Center, Fitton Center for the Arts, Woodland, Rosewood, Glen Helen Annual Calendar, Montgomery State Fair, and the Dayton Visual Arts Center. In Dayton, Lorraine loved helping WDPR with fundraising and volunteering at the Little Exchange with neighbor Kathie Peoples.
For her, there were many treasures about Dayton/Oakwood. At the top of her list was Dayton Public Radio (WDPR), one of the nation’s few remaining full-time classical stations. Another is the Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC), and Central Perc European Café in downtown Oakwood - where she and friends had lunch almost every day for 15 years.
Lorraine succumbed to the ravages of Alzheimer’s.
Dean was present for her last breath and had just put on one of Reid’s flute concert CDs. She passed in comfort and peace, finally. She was at Carlyle House in Kettering at the end, Hospice of Dayton and Dr. Larry Lawhorne providing compassionate end-of-life care. The disease had shown first signs about 7 years ago with memory slips, emotional, and behavioral changes that worsened steadily. She had to enter Carlyle in August 2016 for her safety. Throughout her decline, it was amazing how folks at some of the local businesses cared for her needs without judgement, fear, or anger - CVS in Oakwood, DLM in Oakwood, Ace Hardware, the Dollar Tree on Wayne, and, of course, Central Perc in Oakwood. The Dayton community is already welcoming to refugees and immigrants, and clearly has many who are welcoming to people with dementia. The staff at Carlyle House are unparalleled in their devotion to those with dementia. If one must go to a ‘place,’ that’s it. Dayton should be celebrated for its sense of community of caring for others.
For those friends wishing to make a contribution in Lorraine’s name, please do so with Dayton Public Radio (WDPR -- http://discoverclassical.org) and/or the Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC -- http://www.daytonvisualarts.org).
Sunday, September 30 at 1pm, there will be a Memorial Meeting Service for Lorraine at the Dayton Friends Meeting (Religious Society of Friends, Quaker) at 345 Wyoming Street. Following, there will be a Central Perc dessert and sandwich fest at either Central Perc or at the Parmelee home in Oakwood - check this website closer to the date for more information. One can attend either or both. PLEASE EMAIL US IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND THE RECEPTION: LorraineMemService@gmail.com
Please no cards or flowers, just presence and good will. Dress is casual. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.routsong.com.