Elisabeth Wells-Parker, 67, of West Point, died December 18, 2017 at North Mississippi Medical Center-Tupelo, with Bill, her husband of 39 years, at her side. She was preceded in death by her parents, John Stanley and Rosellene Keathly Wells of West Point. In addition to her husband, William S. Parker, she is survived by her stepson, Vincent Parker (Darcie) and granddaughters Ava and Sophie of Denver, Colo., as well as many friends and professional colleagues.
A native of West Point, Beth was an honor graduate of West Point High School’s Class of 1968 and attended Millsaps College and Duke University, where she earned her doctorate in Psychology. For more than 20 years, she was a professor and distinguished research scientist at Mississippi State University, where she was associate director of the Social Science Research Center at the time of her retirement.
Beth gained international recognition for her ground-breaking research related to alcohol, drugs and highway safety. Her research was funded by agencies such as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institute on Aging, National Highway Safety Administration, and the National Institutes of Health, among many. She served on the Alcohol, Drugs, and Transportation Committee of the National Transportation Research Board and the Executive Council of the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety.
Often called on as a consultant, she served on review panels for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the Medical Research Board of Canada, and the PEW Foundation, as well as a consultant for Yale University’s School of Medicine.
An artist as well as a scientist, Beth was an accomplished jewelry designer, an interest she pursued until her illness four years ago. She was a passionate supporter of no-kill animal shelters, adopting many cats, and was particularly attached to her feline companions Navarro, Louie, Sugar, Sophie, and Pretty.
The family wishes to acknowledge loving caregivers Annie, Helen, Josephine, Lillie, Mindy, Temika, and Tracy who provided assistance, comfort, and friendship throughout Beth’s illness.
A memorial service will be held at Robinson Funeral Home, West Point at 1 PM on Saturday, December 30. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the West Point-Clay County Animal Shelter, 5122 Old Tibbee Road, West Point, MS 39773.