Gay Iris Parker was born December 2, 1948 in Detroit, Michigan and passed away June 24, 2009 in Pasadena, California. Gay was an extraordinary friend to the arts. Her joy in life was sharing the arts with as wide an audience as possible. She cultivated and sustained a diverse audience base for main stage productions at the Pasadena Playhouse also creating for them the popular "Conversations With..." programs, with such guests as Tony and Emmy Award-winner Leslie Uggams, Golden Globe winner Regina Taylor and many others. she started Gay Iris Parker Productions producing and promoting cultural arts and theatrical productions - "The Diva Is Dismissed" and "Bipolar, Bath & Beyond" starring Jenifer Lewis, (Marc Shaiman - "Hair Spray"), "My One Last Nerve: A Visit with Ruby Dee," productions directed by Charles Randolph Wright and many others. This magnificent supportive friend to the theatre community was an audience development consultant for the Geffen Playhouse ("Ain't Nothing But the Blues," "Emergency"), Center Theatre Group (Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (Three Mo' Tenors), and Ebony Repertory Theatre, (Crowns). Her Public Relations projects included the Pan African Film Festival, fine arts artist/author Synthia Saint James, and others. She has received numerous special recognitions: The Eternity Award from the Los Angeles Women's Theatre Festival, Commendations from the County of Los Angeles, California Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and several other organizations. She inspired young minds as an adjunct instructor in Communication and Performing Arts at Pasadena City College until 2007 when her illness forced her to limit her activities.
Gay Iris was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She is survived by her mother Margaret Parker, her sister Susan Norwood (Robert), brother Thomas Parker (LaVerne), niece Jennifer Norwood, nephew Charles Norwood (Sharon), niece Chaikira Parker and extended family, along with, many devoted friends. Memorial Services were held at Woods Valentine Mortuary, Saturday, June 27, 2009.
The public may send donations to the Bone Marrow Transplant Center, City of Hope, Duarte, California.