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Helen Tannus Parnaby

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Helen Tannus Parnaby, 89, Rockford, died Sunday, June 15, 2014, in Cary. 

She was born March 17, 1925, to Shukri and Mabel (Swanson) Tannus in Burlington, Iowa.

On Dec. 23, 1960, she married Richard W. “Dick” Parnaby in Decatur. 

She graduated from North High School in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1942, earned a bachelor’s degree from Augustana College in 1947 and a masters’ degree from the University of Illinois in 1958.

She was a social worker whose career began in the 1940s. Most recently, she was director of social services at Woodstock Memorial Hospital and a home health social worker in Rockford. She was an active member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Cary, where she participated in the outreach committee and served numerous other functions. She also was involved in Carpenters’ Place and Jericho House, as well as the Community Relations Mid-Town Committee.

Survivors include two sons, Mark (Zehra) Parnaby, Chicago, and Jeffrey (Samia Haddad) Parnaby, Minneapolis, Minn.; and several nieces and nephews. 

She was preceded in death by her husband in 2001; a son, Matthew; and two sisters, Mary Lou Paulsen and Eleanor Taheny.

The visitation and memorial service were held June 21 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Cary.

Memorials can be made to Lutheran Social Services, 321 W. State St., Rockford, IL 61101. Arrangements were made by Olson Funeral & Cremation Services Ltd., Rockford.

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