Tonia Lee (Sanders) Parkes, age 74 of Knoxville

Tonia Lee (Sanders) Parkes, age 74 of Knoxville, TN, formerly of Michigan City, IN, went home to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on July 6, 2020.

Toni gave her life over to Christ over 20 years ago at God’s Grace in Michigan City, IN. She loved going to church and served in various leadership roles. She loved reading the Bible and watching Rev. James T. Meeks and TD Jakes. She called Michigan City, IN home for over 60 years until moving to be closer to her son and his family in Tennessee. She lived a simple, humble life with her focal point being to support her family in any way she could. 

If you had the good fortune of knowing Toni Parkes, she was known for having a tremendous work ethic: she consistently showed up to work every day 30-45 mins early for 20 years! Toni never believed in being late to anything she was scheduled to attend and believed in giving her absolute best in everything she did.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Lennie Mae Smith Kizzie and Andrew Sanders; brother, Tyrone Kizzie; husband, Howard “Butch” Parkes; and one granddaughter, Ebony Nicole Parkes.

Toni is survived by her three sons; James Sanders and Anthony Parkes, both of Fort. Worth, TX; Hollis (Mary) Edwards of Knoxville, TN, Knoxville, TN; Grandkids; Nina-Simone LaTonia Edwards, Hollis Christion Edwards and Cahlib Edwards of Knoxville, TN; Keosha Chandler, Seattle, WA; Michael Parkes, Charlotte, NC;Leighton Sherae Sanders, Fort Worth,TX; a host of great grandkids, cousins, and friends.

Toni had a special relationship with her son Hollis, and his wife Mary. She loved and enjoyed spending time with her grandkids Cahlib, Hollis Christion, and Nina-Simone more than anything. Those 6 did everything together. They went to sporting events for the boys, they went on vacation together, and they spent almost every Thanksgiving and Christmas together. The Edwards 6 is missing one of its members and will truly miss their time together.

She loved the Lord and was living a holy and saved lifestyle even though she would be the first to admit that she wasn’t perfect, and that GOD wasn’t finished with her yet. She would want this to be a celebration of her life, and if she thought everyone was sad, she would she would say her famous words: “ I know you shame…I am home with the Lord and I finally get to see my mom again.”

Holley-Gamble Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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