In the wee hours of Saturday morning, August 22, Stacey Parker left us suddenly but peacefully, in her sleep at her home in Wilmington, DE with her dear canine companion Caelan by her side.
Stacey was brought into the world August 14, 1956 by her beloved parents the late Norman and Maryon Parker, joining her sister Nora. She landed on the planet full of energy, humor and iron willed determination which never waned. Stacey, with her colorful firecracker personality, was forever the most amazing little sister anyone could hope to call their own.
She was raised and graduated high school in Chatham, NJ where she made numerous lifelong friends, with whom shenanigans were never in short supply. Whenever possible she returned for events and celebrations through the years. Her love of the Jersey Shore began in infancy and she considered Seaside Park, where she lived full-time for several years as a young adult, her second home. As a teen, she relished summers working on the boardwalk and on the beach in endless pursuit of the perfect tan. Her core group of childhood “summer friends” formed lifelong relationships too and meet up “down the shore” whenever they can.
Stacey loved animals of all kinds and supported animal welfare causes and homeless animals. She never met a stray she wouldn’t help. Her deep connection with horses started as a child with the traditional riding lessons. In her teens she was accomplished enough to have the opportunity to ride with the hounds and participate on horseback in parades and events, including costumed reenactments of Paul Revere’s ride. Trips to Monmouth Park with our Dad began in childhood. Like many, her career in thoroughbred racing was born at the stable gate looking for work as a hot walker and once she hit the backside that was it! She grew in every position she held and went on to work as a trainer and assistant trainer for decades on the east coast from Florida to Massachusetts, predominately at Monmouth Park and Delaware Park. She’s made her home in Wilmington for more than 20 years, most recently in the employ of trainer Scott Peck. As usual, she made countless cherished friends everywhere during her long career, both two and four-legged, and she tried to stay in touch with all.
Stacey adopted many pets in her lifetime. She and her blind and deaf dog Stella worked tirelessly together to remarkably become a certified therapy team with PAWS in Newark, DE, where their visits to area long-term care facilities brought joy to residents who loved Stella’s many holiday themed accessories.
In addition to her heartbroken sister Nora in Morris Twp., NJ Stacey leaves her “might as well be siblings” cousins Chris Parker and Bob Capone, Kevin and Linda Parker and Michael Parker, along with her loved cousins in the Foley and Walsh families. She will be sorely missed by her long-time Wilmington neighbor and best buddy, Kathy Rees, as well as the Pecks and the far too large to name them all circle of wonderful friends around the country with whom she shared and enjoyed her life. They know who they are and how much they meant to each other. We are grateful for them all. In addition to her dog Caelan and cat Judy, she also leaves behind some ridiculously spoiled barn cats. Stacey is now safe in the arms of all her family and friends who predeceased her.
Stacey was a fierce and loyal family member and friend who was well known for her thoughtfulness and for the delight she took in presenting meaningful little gifts and trinkets, often evoking humor, to those close to her. Though she’s clocked her final furlong, crossing the finish line way too soon, her essence will live in our hearts forever. She has given us a treasure trove of memories and she’d demand we celebrate them, turning our tears to smiles and laughter when we speak of her. Due to pandemic restrictions memorial plans must be put on hold for now and cremation and final resting are private. Condolences may be left with the funeral home at stranofeeley.com. Those who wish may donate in her memory to Blind Dog Rescue Alliance https://www.blinddogrescue.org/how-to-help/donate/ or St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center https://www.sthuberts.org/donation, organizations Stacey supported and where she adopted a number of her pets. For those who would have gathered for her, Stacey would be touched and honored if you’d use that time instead to help homeless pets by taking some dog and cat food to your local animal shelter, as she regularly did.
And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of His hand