obit: Helen Anna Skotak Parma
Helen Anna Parma was born January 18, 1917, in a tiny "shotgun house" on South Lamar Street in Dallas, Texas. She died on March 20, 2010, at the age of 93.
Her parents were George and Anna Skotak, both Czechoslovakian immigrants from Moravia. They entered America through the port of Galveston. Helen survived her four brothers, George Jr., Benny, Otto, and Chester and sisters Agnes and Bessie.
On March 7, 1936, Helen married Oldrich Parma - known as Olly to all his friends. They were inseparable until his death on Maarch 25, 1985.
Helen and Olly were a team in business. They specialized in upholstering furniture for fine decorators who served Highland Park, Park Cities, and other discriminating clients. They began humbly in a small house on Hondo Avenue in Dallas. Their fine craftsmanship wasw rapidly recognized, and early on, they became the sole upholstery source for Neiman Marcus.
That little house on Hondo not only contained their upholstery business, but their three children Tommy, Jerry, and Kathy. Quarters were so tight that they had to store fabrics on their bed during the day and remove them at night to sleep.
As their business and family grew, they moved their shop and family to a larger home on Maple Avenue in Dallas. Eventually they built a new upholstery shop attached to the house. Tommy, Jerry and Kathy worked in the shop and learned facets of the trade and the "Parma brand of perfection."
The Parma Upholstery Shop became recognized by top decorators in Dallas. Their exacting work for Neiman Marcus and the famous "Fortnights" was cited by Stanley Marcus. Helen and Olly upholstered furnitured in the "Green Room" of the White House during the Eisenhower presidency. Parma Upholstery was also in demand by the Dallas Museum of Art, corporations, and movie stars.
Helen and Olly stayed close to their Czechoslovakian roots. For many years, Helen helped Olly with his work as Education Director of Sokol for the Southern District. Helen received her 50-year pin from Sokol and was then made an honorary member. The 1994 Sokol Slet was dedicated to Helen along with a few other members. She was a member of SPJST Lodge 130, Dallas. For 48 years Helen was a member of the Krouzek Ceskych Zen (Dallas Circle of Czech Women).
Helen is survived by her children Tommy, Jerry and Kathy Nemec; grandchildren David, Jenny, Mark, Julie, Carl, Daniel, and Peter; and great-grandchildren Lauren, Natalie, Emilie, Benji, Jonathan, Olivia, Christopher, Morgan, Christa, Kelley, Gracie, Robert, Rosie, Jacob, Noah, Rachel, Samuel, Oliver, and Isaac.
Funeral service was held March 25, at Sparkman-Hillcrest Chapel in Dallas. Deacon Tim Muldoon officiated. Entombment was at Calvary Hill Cemetery in Dallas.
newspaper Vestnik, Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Submitted by Rosemary Ermis