RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada's two major universities are mourning the loss of the first black woman to earn a college degree in the state at a time when most of the nation was still segregated.
A memorial service is scheduled in Las Vegas Friday evening for Stella Mason Parson, who died July 29 due to complications from renal disease.
Parson graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno in June 1952 with a bachelor's degree in English. She later returned to school at UNLV, where she earned a masters' degree in marriage and family counseling in 1988.
Parson was born in the daughter of sharecroppers in Lake, Mississippi on Nov. 18, 1929.
She taught school for 33 years in Clark County, where a Las Vegas elementary school is named after her and her late husband, the Rev. Claude H. Parson, Jr.