ITHACA, N.Y. — Tetlow Parham Park passed away unexpectedly in her home in Ithaca, New York, on Thursday, May 20, 2021, in the presence of her husband and her two beloved dogs. Tetlow was born Elizabeth Tetlow Parham, known to everyone as Tet, because her mother never referred to her as Elizabeth. Tetlow said she never felt like an “Elizabeth” anyway.
She was born on Oct. 17, 1939, in Henderson, North Carolina, a small Southern town, and was the daughter of William Brooks Parham and Jenny Newell Parham. She attended the Women’s College of UNC Greensboro in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Tetlow met her husband, Roy H. Park Jr., through a blind date set up by two of Roy’s best friends. She determined quickly on that date that Roy was the one for her, and they married two years later at the small Methodist church on the main street in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. As Roy’s career in advertising and marketing took him to Ithaca, New York City, Coral Gables, Florida, Rye, New York, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Ithaca once again, Tetlow was by his side, adjusting and adapting to whatever the move might bring. Through Roy’s launching of his own company, Park Outdoor in Ithaca, Tetlow established a home in her community and participated in many community activities and formed great friendships with so many wonderful people.
Tetlow’s pride and joy were their children, Elizabeth and Trip, and she was a loving and supportive mother, motivating them both to use their unique talents to attend college at UNC Chapel Hill and study business and journalism, respectively. Upon graduation, Elizabeth worked as a corporate banker at Bank of America for 13 years, and Trip was recruited by multiple advertising agencies over a number of years. Trip is now a successful artist in nine galleries up and down the East Coast. Elizabeth and Trip are directors of Triad Foundation, as is the entire family.
Tetlow and Roy enjoyed spending time at their homes in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina, and Boca Grande, Florida. Tetlow always enjoyed the beach’s beautiful sunrises and sunsets and loved nature in every form. She was particularly fond of flowers and had an extensive garden — orchids were her favorite. She also loved their many dogs, particularly her Rottweilers and Australian Shepherds.
As a director of Triad Foundation for many years, Tetlow particularly enjoyed supporting nursing scholarships at Tompkins County Community College, as she was always intrigued by medicine. As a child, Tetlow made house calls with her grandfather who was a doctor in Franklinton, North Carolina. She had a wealth of medical knowledge and was always her family’s first call when anyone was sick. She also worked in a medical clinic to put Roy through his Cornell MBA program.
Tetlow was a true steel magnolia. She loved everything Southern and brought many traditions with her to Ithaca. She was a gracious host and loved to dine with their many friends, often closing a restaurant down as a result of having just too much fun to leave. With a twinkle in her eye, she loved a pillow that said “Don’t mistake endurance for hospitality” because it reminded her of the long afternoons entertaining guests for lunch in the South. In true form, Tetlow had just requested that Roy make her a mint julep right before she passed away.
She is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Roy H. Park Jr.; their daughter, Elizabeth Park Fowler and her husband, Troy of Tampa, Florida; and son, Roy H. Park III (Trip) and his wife, Laura of Charlotte, North Carolina. Also surviving are seven grandchildren: Noble Brooks Fowler, Chase Hampton Fowler, Elizabeth Sumner Park, Samantha Tetlow Fowler, Roy Hampton Park IV, Lawson Brooks Park, and Cameron Parham Park.
In lieu of flowers, a gift in Tetlow’s memory may be made to the Tompkins Cortland Community College Nursing Program.
Online condolences can be made at www.bangsfuneralhome.com.