Grizell T. Parsons, a retired civilian employee of the Army Intelligence Command and a neighborhood activist, died Sept. 4 of a cerebral hemorrhage at her West Baltimore home. She was 88.
The former Grizell Haynie was born and raised in Heathsville, Va., where she attended Northumberland County, Va., public schools.
After graduating from Julius Rosenwald High School, she attended Virginia Union College. She moved to Baltimore in the 1940s and went to work at the old Glenn L. Martin Co. in Middle River, and later at Western Electric Corp.
In 1947, she married Alvin Wesley Thompson, a mechanic, who died in 1955.
After her children were grown, she returned to work in 1962 at the old Rosewood State Hospital. In 1965, she began working for the Army Intelligence Command at Fort Holabird and later at Fort Meade, where her work was of a confidential nature.
"She received numerous commendations and having never even disclosed to her family the nature of the confidential matters on which she worked," said a daughter, Brenda N. Hanks of Baltimore.
Mrs. Parsons retired in 1988.
Mrs. Parsons was a longtime active member of the Pinehurst Neighborhood Association in West Baltimore. In 1994, a resolution was passed by the House of Delegates honoring her numerous efforts, including in "recognition of your spiritual leadership and the sustaining of the Black Church as the major anchor of the African-American community."
She was a member for many years of Union Baptist Church, where she was a member of its Deaconess Board and in 1987 was selected as Deaconess of the Year. She was also a member of the church's Gertrude Neal Circle.
Mrs. Parsons was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, where she had been secretary, treasurer, Warder, Worthy Matron and district deputy director.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at her church, 1219 Druid Hill Ave.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Parsons is survived by two sons, Oliver N. Parsons of Pasadena and U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson of Windsor, Conn.; another daughter, Maria G. Parsons of Northeast Baltimore; and six grandchildren. Her daughter, Pamela Joette Thompson, died in 1982, and another daughter, Mary Adele Parsons Nash, died in 1992. A marriage to James E. Parsons ended in divorce.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun