Maryann Parker #5085, retired Seattle Police Sergeant passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2016. She was 64 years of age upon passing.
Maryann was raised on Magnolia Bluff, attending elementary and middle school there. She and her best buddy, Nancy Felton were in Camp Fire together. Maryann’s mother Thelma was their Camp Fire leader. The two girls roamed all over Magnolia, including the cliffs behind Fort Lawton (now Discovery Park.) They even tried their first cigarette together at the age of 13. They went in Maryann’s bedroom, closed the door, hung out the open window, and then lit up the “cig”. All the while they were coughing and getting dizzy, Maryann’s brother was pounding on the door, yelling “Mom, Nancy and Maryann are in there smoking.”
After graduating from Queen Anne High, she attended vocational training to become a dental assistant. She did this for many years, and bought a home on Magnolia. As a single parent raising two children, she decided on a more lucrative career. So, she enrolled in police science courses. And in 1986, she applied to the Seattle Police Department. She was hired on December 2, 1986 at the age of 34.
After the Academy, she was assigned to 1st Watch East. One of her FTOs was Scott Kawahara #4825. Little did he know that he was training one of his future sergeants. Maryann stayed East for five years in Patrol, then ACT, and finally CPT. Because of her work experience, Narcotics had her temporarily assigned to Street Narcotics. The next year, 1991, she got an offer from Gunnar Otness #2149 to go to Mounted due to her equestrian talent. She accepted because the barn was close to home and she loved to train horses. After a year, she was recruited to Criminal Info (Intelligence.) This was too good of an assignment to turn down, so she went and stayed six years. Her next assignment was Seattle Team for Youth with Vinette Tichi #4562, Fred Villaflor #5468, Jennifer McLean #4995, and John Hayes #4650. She was one of the first people on the department to do gang intervention that was specifically designed for girls at risk or getting into gangs. She worked collaboratively with juvenile court, the Washington State’s Department of Juvenile Rehabilitation Services, SPD Gang Detectives, families, Seattle Public Schools, and countless social service agencies. She worked wonders on getting young girls out of the gang life, back on track and back at home. Maryann had a magic way to communicate with youth and parents, that helped them all work together. He motto was, “Use honey if you want bees. If you want flies, use S#@T! That’s all you get!”
Then Maryann went to the Special Victims Crimes Section for three years, working for Mike Kebba #5164. On December 5, 2001, she was promoted to sergeant. During the next fifteen months, she worked in both south end precincts. Then in March 2003, she was assigned to IIS for two years, again working to Mike Kebba. He requested her because of her thoroughness and competence as an investigator. In the very early morning before their shift and before the guys would come into the PSB workout room, Vinette and Maryann would change the radio station from Oldies and Moldies or hard rock, to western music and do their aerobics square dancing. The muscle heads found this not only disquieting, but maybe even sacrilege.
At the end of 2005, she transferred to Background Investigations. About this time, one of her best childhood friends died. This changed Maryann. She decided to plan for an early retirement of twenty-one years. She finished remodeling her Lake Stevens home, which could have been in Homes and Gardens, preparing it for sale. It sold and she retired on March 30, 2007.
Now she could fulfill her dream of being a full-time country rancher. She moved with her two horses and her dog Sadie to a 25-acre ranch in Montana. She fixed it up and sold it for a profit. Then she moved to a 10-acre mini fixer-upper ranch. She, by herself, built a barn, out buildings, and again remodeled the house and sold it for a profit. Her next move was to Polson to fix up a 5-acre ranch. Even though she was working on her house, growing and bucking hay, and fixing fences, she now had time to enjoy her avocation of horse training and teaching trail riding. She, and friend Barb Rentschler, taught a course called “Bomp Proof”, in which horses become accustomed to unfamiliar and threatening sounds and experiences. The SPD Mounted Unit’s training was the basis of “Bomp Proofing”. This course prepared the horse for trail riding when it encounters dirt bikes, mountain bikers, dogs, and wild animals. On one trail ride, Maryann was on her trained horse and Barb was on a partially trained horse. Suddenly two German Shepherds appeared and began to chase the horses. The trained horse stayed clam, but Barb’s horse bolted off the trail, through the trees, throwing Barb off, breaking her arm. Maryann gave Barb aid, put her on the trained horse and transported her to the aid station. Then she IDed the dogs’ owner and pursued charges. The owner was convicted and paid some of Barb’s medical costs.
In 2014, Maryann moved back to Ellensburg to be close to her children and grandchildren. Even though she was in Washington, she was a Montana woman. Every morning, she flew the Montana state flag in her front yard. Her plan was to move back to Creston after her grandchildren were older. Sadly, this was not to be. In August, she was diagnosed with a terminal illness and had to be moved to a care facility in Seattle for her final four months.
Maryann is survived by her daughter, Rene; her son, Ryan; and three grandchildren. Her dog Sadie resides now with Maryann’s best childhood pal – Nancy Felton.
Her Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, February 26th at 12:30PM at the Queen Anne Masonic Lodge, 1608 4th Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119. Please note that space is limited.