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In Loving Memory

Parks, Maria Tereza Cadaxa de Carvalho

beloved daughter, sister, aunt, wife of the dearly departed Kenneth K. Parks Jr., and mother of Beatriz and John David– passed away peacefully and comfortably on December 7, 2022 at the age of 76. Her two deeply loved children stayed by her bedside as she went home to be with Our Lord Jesus Christ and Savior.

Born in 1946 to a Catholic home as the oldest daughter of Álvaro and Maria Virginia de Carvalho, Tereza grew up in São Paulo and then Curitiba, Brazil, with two sisters, Inês and Bia, and a brother, Álvaro Junior. After graduating from the Universidade Federal do Paraná, Tereza worked as an elementary school teacher in Curitiba and greatly enjoyed spending time with her close-knit family.  A brilliant student, Tereza received the Fulbright Scholarship to study abroad and enrolled at the University of Iowa to earn a Master’s in Psychology of Pedagogy, where she met and began dating a gregarious younger man named Ken. They continued dating and letter-writing long-distance after graduation, as Tereza returned home to Curitiba to work as an English as a Second Language coordinator and teacher at the Centro Cultural Brasil-Estados Unidos. In 1981 she bought a one-way ticket to Canada, where Ken picked her up, and then they drove down to St. Louis to get married. After their wedding, the couple lived in Calgary, Canada; Whidbey Island, Washington; and Yokosuka, Japan, before finally settling back in St. Louis. During that time, Tereza achieved her lifelong dream of motherhood when she gave birth to her daughter, Beatriz, at age 42, and John David, at 44. A dedicated and generous homemaker and mother, Tereza went on to relish summer family outings to the Heman Park Pool and Centreat, baking cookies with her children, and reading aloud to them every night throughout their childhoods. In addition to caring for her children, she returned to work to support her family at Central PEEPS as well as University City Public Schools, where her children attended. In 2019, Tereza lost her dear husband Ken to illness, but also gained her precious grandson, Levi Adriel Adiputra, to whom she especially delighted giving gifts and time alike during the last four years. Brain complications slowed Tereza during the last year of her life, but she never ceased to be present and faithful to her family.

Tereza held few things closer to her heart than her family, which she helped prove with her boundless pride in and generosity towards her children and grandson. She deeply loved her Brazilian family, excitedly reuniting with them on trips and visits and missing them in the long intervals in between, and remained especially close to her nieces. Her loving care was extended to animals, from feeding birds to even taking in five different orphaned cats from our yard, despite her immense heart for dogs. Yet she also enjoyed a quiet and gentle life, especially one that involved knitting, reading historical and pastoral literature, flower gardening, and watching BBC shows and classic movies. Known for her kindness, tenderheartedness, and self-sacrificial spirit, Tereza will be greatly missed.

Visitation at Kutis Affton Chapel 10151 Gravois Rd. 63123 on Monday, December 19 from 4-6 pm. Funeral service on Tuesday, December 20 at Central Presbyterian Church 7700 Davis Drive  Clayton, Mo. 63105 at 11:00 am. Interment at Sunset Cemetery.


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