Elizabeth (Martinec) Parsons

March 7, 2022


Entered into eternal rest on Monday, March 7, 2022, Elizabeth Martinec Parsons passed away in her home in South Carolina, surrounded by her beloved family.

Liz learned responsibility early in life, working in the family business from the time she started grade school. Work ethic, the value of customer service and community kindness were principles that would guide her through her lifetime. Liz would lead an adventurous life, starting with her childhood, spending much time outdoors, in nature and in the Adirondacks with her father.

Liz graduated Scotia Glenville High School in 1971 and went to SUNY Morrisville. While at college, she took an elective in ornithology. Becoming an avid birder, this would influence her for the rest of her life.

Liz has always been a dynamic force, often surprising everyone by joyfully accomplishing the unexpected. Her career took her to Arizona where she started working for the IRS. Transferring to Albany, she applied for a position with the U.S. State Department. She was hired, moved to Washington D.C. and was stationed for two years in the West African country of Ghana. She loved the foreign experience, and worked closely with Ambassador Shirley Temple Black, developing a warm relationship. Liz returned to Washington and was assigned another 6 months in Nigeria. After serving in Africa, she returned to the U.S. and lived in San Francisco for several years. She left the employ of the government and moved to Ithaca, New York. While working, she returned to school and earned her B.A. in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University and then an M.B.A.

After graduating from Cornell, she moved to South Carolina, working for National Cash Register for many years in their Human Resource Department. It is here that she met her future husband, Donald Parsons. Her upbringing in the family business and customer service, along with her genuine warmth and concern for others, enabled her to immediately understand and support her employees. After a merger with a large international company, Liz turned her interests to becoming a massage therapist, once again being a forerunner of something that, in the future, would become a trend. She left her position in HR and focused on providing care to those who were injured or stressed and would benefit from the gift of touch and healing massage.

Her massage work led her to health care where she met a hospital senior administrator who offered her the position of Director of Human Resources at Easley Baptist Hospital where she worked for more than 15 years until her retirement in 2018.

When Liz turned 60, she gifted herself the opportunity to learn to play the banjo. This would be another life-changing epiphany, opening up an entirely new direction for her to explore. She met fellow musicians and reveled in the simplistic and sincere beauty of Appalachian mountain music, participating in a weekly amateur jam session at the Pickens Senior Center. A woman with many personal goals, she attained the privilege and level of honor to play her banjo along with the highly regarded and celebrated Jockey Lot Pickers. Her favorite song to play and sing was, "I'll Fly Away."

Her lessons, held at the Pickens Senior Center, enabled her to become involved with other people and activities, learning clogging, line dancing and enjoyed drawing and painting. In 2019, through these new friends, she studied and became a Master Naturalist, through the Clemson University Extension Program. As part of her volunteer work as a Master Naturalist, she and her husband installed and monitored bluebird nest boxes and bird feeders at Hagood Mill, a historical site in Pickens, SC.

Liz and Don lovingly worked together to build beautiful gardens and paths at their home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, celebrating native plants, wildflowers and of course, birds. It was a great pleasure and honor for Liz to be able to perform the marriage ceremony of her son and daughter-in-law in this serene setting.

Liz touched so many with her gentle kindness, shy smile, sweet laugh and the warmest of friendship. Liz had unbridled enthusiasm that was contagious to all those who were fortunate to be around her.

Liz is survived by her loving husband, Donald H. Parsons, her devoted son, Zebulon (Leora), and two grandchildren who call her Birdie. She is also survived by her mother, Anne Martinec, sisters Patricia Dalessandro and Christine Martinec Vlahides, and her nieces and nephews.

Services will be held Monday, March 14, 2022 at Bekkering Funeral Home, 1 Mohawk Avenue, Scotia, New York at 9:30 a.m., with burial immediately following at Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery in Niskayuna.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to Young Appalachian Musicians, Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music, 792 Holly Springs Road, Pickens, SC 29671.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Elizabeth (Martinec) Parsons, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
March 14, 2022

9:30 AM
Bekkering Ellis Funeral Home Inc.
1 Mohawk Ave
Scotia, NY 12302

March 14, 2022

11:00 AM
Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery
2501 Troy Schenectady Rd,
Schenectady, NY 12309


Young Appalachian Musicians, Preserving Our Southern Appalachian Music
792 Holly Springs Road, Pickens SC 29671

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