Marti Gale Parker, professor of social gerontology at the Aging Research Center, has passed away after a long illness. Marti played a leading role in establishing the center, helping stabilize its funding and research direction. Her work was at the international forefront of research on the connection between older people’s function, health, and social and physical environment. Her analysis of socioeconomic differences in physical function was groundbreaking, demonstrating that the effects of socioeconomic position on function reach far into old age for both women and men. Marti’s recent projects included an international comparison of the health and living conditions of centenarians in five countries.
Marti was an exceptionally warm person of great intelligence and deep inner strength. She was generous with her time and attention and always ready to listen and give thoughtful answers and advice. Marti will always have a special place in the hearts of many of us here at the Aging Research Center, but her research findings, the roles she played in the academic world, and her personality leave a legacy that will live on far beyond those of us who knew her.
Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to her family.