|Julia Edmonia Parker|
|Birth:|| November 11, 1889|
in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
|Death:|| April 25, 1969|
in Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama
|Burial:|| Carl Wittichen plot,|
Birmingham, Jefferson County, Alabama
|Father:||Arthur Charles Parker|
|Mother:||Edmonia Eliza Berry|
|Spouse/Partner:||Carl Ferdinand Wittichen|
|Marriage:|| April 29, 1912|
in Memphis, Shelby County, Tennessee
Julia Parker was the fourth and last child of Charlie Parker and Edmonia Berry. She was born in Memphis, TN, and was the granddaughter of a highly successful cotton shipper. As such, she grew up pretty well off and would appear to have been rather spoiled. She was fun-loving and free-spirited. It is likely these traits that attracted Carl Wittichen. However, after the birth of their only child, they began to grow apart.
She became rather eccentric and stubborn. She made my grandfather dress up for almost any occasion. After her husband's death, she became even more eccentric.
She became fascinated by astrology and refused to watch television unless by mirror so she could avoid the harmful rays she thought it emitted. She had a bevy of servants and hardly lifted a finger for herself. My grandmother said these servants would fall all over themselves to do anything for Julia, but would hardly respond if my grandmother made a request of them. She enjoyed a good stiff drink, much to the chagrin of her teetotaler sister. A story is told how she drove to downtown Birmingham after my grandparents were married and asked a black woman if she would like a job as a maid. The woman, Onzella McCall, jumped at the opportunity and came home with Julia for training. Julia told her how to set the table and then instructed her to clean out the refrigerator and then put everything back in. In this way, she told Onzella, she would learn how to clean the refrigerator and also learn what was in it. As Onzella began her task, Julia mixed herself a drink and headed for a chair to relax in. Onzela would continue working for my grandparents until her death when I was a small boy. Julia did a lot for my grandparents. She even paid for them to redesign their kitchen as a St. Charles Kitchen, a classic 1950's style that still remains in my grandparent's home.
My mother remembered going to Julia's apartment at the Dujon Apartments (which were owned by my grandfather). Her apartment covered two units, having had the wall between them removed. She would always give my mother and her friends spending money. She also loved to watch the Veterans' Day parade from her apartment as it fell on her birthday. My mother and her sisters called her "Dearo", their attempt at her preferred grandmotherly title of "Dear Mother". Her great niece Henley Haslam called her "Arnie", apparently an attempt at "Auntie".
With her lack of physical activity, Dearo gained weight and developed diabetes. Her last years were spent in a nursing home with her daughter-in-law's mother Donie Vickery. It was here that she died from complications of diabetes.
Julia left a lasting impression on those who knew her, especially her family members. Fun but sometimes frustrating, Julia mostly lived for her own entertainment, but also enjoyed entertaining others.
|Children of Carl Ferdinand Wittichen and Julia Edmonia Parker
- Anderson, Charles Wittichen. Visit to Elmwood Cemetery.
- Dupuy, B. H. The Huguenot Bartholomew Dupuy and His Descendants. Louisville: Courier-Journal Job Print. Co., 1908.
- Haslam, Henley. Memories of Julia Wittichen.
- Spink, W. E. "Parker Family Tree Diagram". Privately created 1934.
- Wittichen, Carl Ferdinand, Jr. Memories of Julia Wittichen.
- Wittichen Ivy Vickery. Memories of Julia Wittichen.
- Wittichen, Julia Parker. Death certificate.
- Wittichen, Julia Parker. Genealogy notes. [probably need to flesh this out]