On December 10, 1942 in the small town of Grand Junction, Colorado a precious baby girl was born in a house turned hospital to Thomas Joseph Berry and Billie Louise Graham Berry. She was a perfect first child to her young parents as she demonstrated intelligence, spirited determination, and a strong desire for fun early on. Sharon spent her first few years in Grand Junction and in Monticello, UT. When she was age 5 the family moved to Ogden, UT where she enjoyed her school years, graduating with the first class from Bonneville High School in 1961. Sharon was always at the top of her class and could outrun, out play, and out talk most of her peers. She was a fierce protector of her younger sister and brother.
At the young age of 19, Sharon went to work for a dentist to help with his new practice and as a chair side assistant. It was not long until the dentist and his assistant fell in love. Sharon always said she knew this was her life partner and on June 20, 1962 Sharon and Dr. Clayton Floyd Parkinson were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Sharon was immediately the mother of three beautiful children that would be joined by a sister and brother in the near future.
Sharon left college early to marry the love of her life and raise five children but she would not be dissuaded from a second effort at higher education. She started as a registered nurse and then received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in art. When her youngest son graduated from high school, they attended the University of Utah together, she as a graduate student in Social Work, and he as a freshman. After graduating with the Connie Mortenson Outstanding Student in Mental Health Award she worked four years with Student Services at Weber State University while earning a doctorate. Sharon never did anything halfway and after several years of hard work she received her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. After graduation she then cleverly re-designed her license plate to read paradox.
Soon after she received her doctorate, Sharon went to work for Weber State University. For ten years she loved the hundreds of students she taught as a faculty member in the Social Work Department. Sharon took early retirement to move with her husband to sunny St. George. It was in St George she found herself surrounded by wonderful lifetime friends and a happy future of golf and pickle ball. However, this delightful change and a single digit golf handicap still left her wondering about the meaning of life. To be certain, she had dabbled in artistic adventures throughout life, but she soon found a new love in gourding. It was here she was able to reflect her life experiences and personal history. She displayed and sold much of her beautiful artwork. What she loved most about this medium is the forgiveness! She said of it, “What I cannot do is perfect, what I can do is create something I love.”
Sharon touched many people’s lives with her education and background in human services fields such as nursing, social work, and higher education. She will be loved by many and forgotten by none. Sharon is survived by her husband Clayton F. Parkinson of St. George, Utah; her sister Susan Thornock (Craig), her children LeAnn Holt (Paul, deceased), LaNea Clement (Rob), Kent Parkinson (Lee Ann), Paul Parkinson (Fanone), 15 grandchildren, 34 great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren.
Sharon was preceded in death by her father Thomas Joseph Berry, her mother Billie Louise Graham Berry, her brother Thomas Joseph Berry II (Thom), and her daughter Kallie Nicole Parkinson Coles (David).
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 4th at 11 a.m. at Allen-Hall Mortuary (34 E. Center St., Logan, UT). Interment to follow at Smithfield City Cemetery.
Funeral services will be livestreamed and can be viewed via the following link (password: Sharon)
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