As many of you know, on May 27 our twenty-two-year-old daughter Meggan was killed in an automoble accident south of Bakersfield, California. She was returning to her summer job, before completing her degree program as a theater major with a concentration in directing at Scripps College in Claremont, California in the fall.
Born November 27, 1974, Meggan had packed a lot into her short life. She was born only 12 minutes after we got to the hospital and seemed to hit the ground running. She took lessons in voice, dance, acting, acrobatics, oboe, and swimming in addition to a full school and work schedule, graduating with honors from Oregon City High, acting in several plays, playing in the band, lettering four years in swimming, winning district meets, lifeguarding, and teaching swimming.
Meggan was a joy, with a smile that could steal any show and an ability to unite children or grownups in work and learning. She found great happiness in helping others; she donated blood, did HIV/AIDS eduction, taught swimming, and theater, and contributed her organizing skills. Meggan really enjoyed life and work. She seemed happiest when in places without plumbing or electricity.
One of Meg's ambitions was to live on seven continents and learn seven languages. She had spent a semester in Guatemala working with street kids, a semester in Zimbabwe working with women to create theater pieces of traditional teaching stories, and a semester in London studying armed and unarmed stage combat, Shakespearean theater, Alexander technique, and otherwise honing her craft. She spoke English, German, Spanish, and Shona. She loved travel and had also visited Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Zambia, South Africa, Spain, Italy, France, and Germany.
Meggan died just before commencing work on children's summer theater workshops, a Spanish language HIV/AIDS education radio novella (soap opera), and teaching more swimming. It was typical that she had four jobs lined up for the summer and was planning to attend the international HIV/AIDS conference in Cuba in August to share her work on the novella.
Once when traveling in Central America with a friend, Meggan said if she died on one of her trips, what she wanted most was to be remembered. We ask that you help us to insure she is remembered by helping to continue some of the work she was doing.
Gifts in memory of Meggan may be sent to: Scripps College, 1030 Columbia Ave, Claremont, CA 91711, Attention Martha Keates. They will be placed in the Meggan C. Parkinson Memorial Fund for Health Education Outreach.
Meggan volunteered and worked for Health Education Outreach (HEO) throughout her years at Scripps. HEO Provides health education programming at The Claremont Colleges by offering information and courses on HIV/AIDS and wellness education on campus. Its resource library, referral lists, condom distribution and other services are free to the Colleges community. This fund honors Meggan's commitment to helping others achieve, protect, and sustain health and wellness.
Gifts may also be made to the Meggan C. Parkinson Memorial Fund for Los Romeritos, named after Monsignor Romero, the martyred archbishop of El Salvador.
We received a phone call from Meggan's jefe in Guatemala, the leader of Los Romeritos, the group of homeless, street orphans in Guatemala City she worked with during her semester there. Jaime told us that they wanted to name the shelter they are going to build after Meggan.
In Guatemala Jaime and Meggan organized these niños de la calle, mostly shoeshine boys, through street theater games, brought the children together, and let them decide what they needed and how to achieve it. (I think this is where she first began uniting theories of Theater of the Oppressed and Theater of Development, her thesis work.) The children decided they most needed a temporary shelter to be able to get off the streets for short periods of time when things were hardest.
Jaime, with Meggan's assistance, helped produce a music cassette with songs donated by each of Guatemala's most popular singers to sell to raise funds for the shelter project. This is the shelter that will be raised in Meggan's name. We hope to bring copies of the cassette to the United States soon to sell to complete the fundraising for the building. Once the building is a reality we will also establish a permanent fund to keep the project going.
For now, gifts may be sent for Los Romeritos Casa de Meggan Parkinson to Lynn in his name at his home address: Lynn DeWeese- Parkinson, 822 S Ginger St, Cornelius, OR, 97113 USA. We have finally established a tax deductable way to contribute to Los Romeritos. Gifts may be sent to the Oregon City United Methodist Church, 18955 S South End Road, Oregon City, OR, 97045. Checks should be made out to OCUMC and "Los Romeritos" written in the "for" line on the check.
In sorrow and in joy we thank you for your help on behalf of all of Meggan's family, friends, fellow students, co-workers, and those who will benefit from the two funds.
Memorial Update: 3 September, 1998
A long-time friend of Meggan has created another memorial to her: Remembering Meggan.