Mrs. Jean Autry, 92, wife of the late Colbourne Henry Autry and a resident of Tangier Island, passed away Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021, at her home with her daughter and grandson at her side. Born Dec. 7, 1928, on Tangier, she was the daughter of the late Charles Wesley Parks Jr. and the late Etta F. Parks.
Jean graduated from Tangier High School in 1946 and worked many years at Williams Grocery Store on Tangier. She worked for over 30 years at the election polls, which she served faithfully and seriously. In the mid-1980s to early-1990s, she owned and operated her own ice cream shop on the island known as Jean’s Fun Food. She was an outdoors person that loved to fish, plant flowers, and work at her brother, Sonny Boy’s, crabhouse.
Her greatest pleasure was crab netting during the summer months; she was known as one of the best netters on Tangier. Jean loved to cook for her family and enjoyed sending cakes, custards, and get well cards to the sick people on the island. A giving and selfless person, she sent fruit cakes and cookies to the shut-ins on Tangier at Christmas for many years until recently. Jean was a patriotic person who celebrated the 4th of July unlike any other, with her large yard decorated in red, white, and blue; her reputation of being the first to the beach and the last to leave on the 4th is still remembered today. She loved to decorate her house for Christmas in blue and green bulbs; it is still the favorite decorated home of many on the island and those who have moved away. Jean lived life to the fullest and would be the first to Homecoming, Memorial Day program, Blessing of the Fleet, and any other activity. She was a member of Swain Memorial United Methodist Church; she loved the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jean is survived by her daughter and faithful caregiver, Trudy Crockett, of Tangier; grandson, Duane Crockett, of Tangier; great-grandson, Lance Daley, of Tangier; great-great-grandsons, Jorden Daley and Wyatt Daley; special nieces, Edna Jean Jordan, of Alexandria, Va., and Ella Bryan Crockett, of Tangier; several nieces and nephews; and many friends. In addition to her husband and parents, she was predeceased by her son, Glenn Autry; her granddaughter, Stephanie Daley; her great-grandson, Jordan Wesley Daley; her sister, Madeline Ruby; her brothers, Charles “Sonny Boy” Parks, Bill Parks, and infant brother, Garland Melvin Parks.
Funeral services were held at Swain Memorial United Methodist Church Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2021, at 2 p.m., with her nephew, the Rev. Charles W. Parks III, and grandson, Elder Duane Crockett, officiating. Interment was in the Parks Family Cemetery
Contributions in Jean’s name may be given to the Tangier Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 239, Tangier, VA 23440.
Memory tributes may be shared with the family at www.williamsfuneralhomes.com
Arrangements are by the Williams Funeral Homes, Onancock and Parksley.