After a well lived life of 96 years, our beloved Vernalee Parfitt passed away on Friday morning, November 3, 2023 of natural causes. She leaves behind her legacy of love, joy, self-lessness and sincerity, topped off with a subtle but gracious sense of humor and many sporting events unattended.
Vernalee was born on February 25, 1927, in Champaign, Illinois, to Gladys and Edward Reed. She had four siblings, two brothers and two sisters. She met Leslie Parfitt upon his return from WWII in 1947 and was married shortly thereafter. At the age of 32, with two young daughters, they moved from South Bend, Indiana, to Sacramento, CA for a career opportunity for their family, a huge move for a young woman growing up in the Midwest. It took a lot of courage to move 2,500 miles away from the security of family in the late 1950’s. She had to tap in to that courage through out her life, along the way setting a wonderful example for her daughters and grandchildren. Vernalee and Leslie went separate ways in 1983, again leaving her to tap in to that courage and redefine her life. She later met Albert Baylacq, they had a wonderful relationship of 7 years traveling the coast of California in their beautiful white Mercedes. She spent the last years of Albert’s life by his bedside caring for him as he passed from cancer. He loved her dearly and how deserving she was of that love.
On a professional note, Vernalee worked in the banking industry. After taking a 15 year sabbatical to raise her family, she returned to work at Crocker Bank/Wells Fargo at the Fair Oaks branch, where she became an icon in the community. Everyone knew and loved Vernalee at the bank. Upon her retirement and the passing of her companion, Vernalee purchased a home in Sun City, Roseville, CA. There she was able to enjoy her love of the game of golf, learned to line dance, and never missed a day at the gym. Her older sister, Dorothy Warburton, chose to retire in Roseville as well, and for 20 years these two adorable ladies enjoyed her grandchildren’s sporting events, concerts, and many family vacations. At the age of 88, Vernalee had to leave her beloved Sun City as her arthritic knees lessened her mobility. At this time she moved to Davis to be close to her eldest daughter. Although not physically active, and being the avid sports fan that she was, her activity was pretty much limited to watching her Giants, 49ers, Kings and Phil Michelson on TV. She was fortunate to have Lupe de Raya, a dedicated and loving caregiver for 6 years. It was Lupe who had her hand in hers as Vernalee left on her journey to Heaven.
Her family brought special joy to Vernalee, and was always her priority. She loved being with them and she had a special place for her four grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Her family loved and respected her as the matriarch of the family. She is survived by her two daughters, Cynthia (Reed) Schulze of Davis, and Candace Saari of Oceanside, CA. She is also survived by her grandchildren Kimberlee (Tom) Cleary, Matthew Schulze, Lindsey Gonzalez and Nicole (Zach) Brown. Her great grandchildren include Emma, Leah, Robert and Clara Cleary, and Asher Gonzalez and Jordyn Brown. She loved her dog Molly, who was preceded by little Peaches, both providing her unconditional joy.
We are planning a gathering at or near Sun City, Roseville on or around her birthday, February 25, 2024, to celebrate her life and first birthday in heaven. More information to come.
Any donations in her honor should be made to Sutter Hospice at Sutterhealth.org/giving