Tribute to Mary Parkes The Mary M. Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy, and Pulmonary Care was established in 1995 by Walter and Carmina Parkes and family in honor of their daughter, Mary M. Parkes. Mary died in 1991, at the age of 32, as a result of a severe asthma episode. Mary M. Parkes was diagnosed with asthma when she was just 9 years old. Her illness was acute, requiring her to be hospitalized over 50 times in 10 years. Despite her difficult battle with asthma, Mary led a full and active life eventually becoming an intensive care nurse. The Center stands today as a testament to her courage, compassion, and beautiful smile. It is a reminder for all of us to take one breath at a time.