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February 10, 1952 - March 14, 2017

Burial Date March 17, 2017

Funeral Home Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel

Place of Service Christ the King Church

Section Garden of Heritage II Lot Number: 563Grave Number: D#2

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     Carolyn Louise (Bullens) Parker, 65, of 570 Chandler St., Worcester, after a valiant year and a half struggle with lung cancer passed away Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

Born in Worcester, MA on February 10, 1952, she survived the Worcester tornado’s complete destruction of Great Brook Valley in 1953 where her mother, Elizabeth (Betty), took Carolyn and her brother to the apartment complex’s basement for protection. Betty passed away 4 years later and her unmarried sister, “Aunt Edie”, Edith R. Nuzzolilo, single-handedly raised the 4 siblings (affectionately known as: “the orphans” ).

Carolyn is survived by her husband of 40 years, Doug Parker, Ph.D;  a daughter Alainna L. Parker;  as well as a brother John Nuzzolilo and his wife June; two sisters, Patricia Britt and her husband Frank, all of Worcester, Lisa Madden and her husband Patrick, of Spencer;  an extended loving family of nieces, nephews, cousins, and uncle/godfather.

Carolyn, always a great student, graduated top of her class from Marian High School class of 1970, and president of her Worcester City Hospital School of Nursing class. She then earned her Bachelor’s degree in nursing from Anna Maria College  in 1973.  Carolyn lived with a great passion for her chosen profession: Nursing. She selflessly served the residents of Worcester for almost a decade as a nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) at Worcester City Hospital.

Broadening her horizons she moved on to open a kidney dialysis unit at Brookline Hospital, MA, where she had a ‘walk-on’ during the taping of a popular Detective show using the hospital as the show’s ‘set’, along with a famous TV character, “Shak”.

Carolyn then served as the Director of Health Services at Holy Cross College, serving the students, Jesuits, and faculty/staff while studying at Boston College to become a Nurse Practitioner.   Carolyn then progressed West to the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA as Nurse Practitioner and Director of Health Services.     She applied her increased knowledge sequentially to: UMass Medical School (now UMassMemorial) hospital clinics, Harvard University, and Cambridge Health Alliance – the latter for 7 years of Worcester to Boston commuting. She finally came back to Worcester in 2013 to serve as a well-respected and much-loved NP in the private medical practice of Dr. Thomas Patenaude.

Friends and relatives are invited calling hours from 4:00pm to 8:00pm Thursday, March 16, 2017 in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St., Worcester.  The funeral will be held Friday, March 17, 2017, from the funeral home, leaving in procession at 9:30am to Carolyn’s home parish of Christ the King, 1052 Pleasant St., Worcester, MA 01602, where the Reverend Monsignor Thomas Sullivan will celebrate her funeral Mass at 10:00 am.  Burial will be in Worcester County Memorial Park in Paxton.

In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to your local branch of the American Cancer Society or The Dana Farber Institute, 450 Brookline Ave., Boston, MA  02112 directed for immune genetic therapy against lung cancer