Erica Rochelle Parks

Obituary
  • "Erica loved sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm with..."
    - Catherine Smith
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    - Rae Davenport
  • "I only had the privilege of knowing Erica for one year but..."
    - Schona Kessler
  • "Gail and Rick, losing a child is one of the hardest things..."
    - Diana Shaw
  • "I met Erica at Camp Evergreen. She was very nice to my..."
    - Dana Gaches-Cruver


ERICA ROCHELLE (BRANUM) PARKS
May 18, 1982 ~ October 16, 2017

Erica Rochelle (Branum) Parks entered the world on May 18, 1982 in Eugene, Oregon. For the next 35 years her stubborn tenacity and zest for life touched everyone she knew as she battled cancer and all the "normal" twists of growing up, and becoming an adult, wife, and mother. Erica embraced art, singing, Girl Scouts, friends, and family with an unparalleled strength. She lost her fight on October 16, 2017 in Longview, Washington, but everyone and everything Erica touched will never be the same.
Born to Richard and Gail Branum, she joined a sister and started on her life journey. At age two her family moved to Vancouver where she continued on her journey. Erica attended Evergreen public schools from Kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating from Evergreen High School in 2000. During those years she tackled basketball (nope), track and field (hmmm), and volleyball (pretty good!), but learned that sports was not her niche, despite being 6'2". Singing was a better fit. From elementary choir to EHS Women's Ensemble State Champions Erica lustily graced everyone with her rich alto voice. Through all those years, though, her love of art and Girl Scouts never waned. She was one requirement away from achieving the Girl Scout Gold Award when cancer struck the first time. Her priorities turned to school and life, and Erica never looked back. Friends, drama, and art became her focus throughout the rest of high school.
After attending Clark College, she transferred to Western Washington University. While there, Erica met the love of her life, battled cancer again, and earned a bachelor's degree in Art in December 2005. By far the most important thing from that leg of her life's journey was Bryan, the man she married in March of 2006. By year's end, Erica became a mother for the first time when her son was born. By the time his sister joined the family they were settled in Longview. Priorities shifted to family, art, friends, Girl Scouts and living life to the fullest, despite repeated health set-backs. For the rest of her life those were her main focus.
Erica is survived by the following loving family: husband, Bryan Parks and children, Warren and Leah at home in Longview; parents, Richard and Gail Branum of Washougal; sister, Mattea (Dan) Bartleson of Coulee City, WA; "bonus" parents, Greg and Debbie Parks in Montesano, WA; and "bonus" siblings, Greg (Melissa) Parks Jr., Abby (Mike) Gourdin, and Brett Parks; in addition to 1 nephew and 5 nieces.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Vancouver on Dec. 2, at Vancouver Elk's club (time TBD). Private family interment is planned for the Washougal Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, her family requests that you do what Erica posted on Facebook on September 24;
"Cherish every moment with those you love.
Even if they're driving you crazy!"
Please sign her guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on Nov. 5, 2017
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