Name: Margaret Parsons Andrews
Title/Position/Occupation: Former owner/manager of Parsons Inc. Margaret has been actively involved with the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for the Arts and the Gwinnett Medical Center Parkinson’s Disease Support Group.
Sphere of Influence: Born and raised in Duluth. She was influential as a business owner of Parsons stores in Duluth, Lawrenceville, Buford, Norcross, and Cumming. She devoted much of her spare time and energy to the arts. During her many years in retailing, she looked forward to the day that she could retire and paint full time.
Education/Background: Graduate of NAPS, a private school in Atlanta, and Wesleyan College in Macon. Continued her education at the Atlanta College of Art.
ArtWorks! Gwinnett “Vision” Award in 2012.
Gwinnee Award from the Hudgens Center for the Arts.
A weeping cherry tree was planted in her honor in the Al Weeks Sculpture Garden at the Hudgens Center.
Outstanding Community Service Award from Wesleyan College.
When Margaret was diagnosed with Parkinson’s’ Disease, she decided to focus on building a facility so people in this area could learn to paint. She became involved with the Gwinnett Council for the Arts, which was made up of a small group of women that actively supported the arts in the Lawrenceville area. A small house was home base. She shared her vision with these women as they scrubbed the floors and made do with their small gallery.
Margaret pursued her vision by soliciting private donations to fund two phases of the Hudgens Arts Center, including a children’s museum, and the sculpture garden. Her architectural drawings inspired the center’s design. Margaret acquired quality exhibitions and obtained funding and sponsors for them. She also helped to raise money to provide the best possible materials for the classrooms.
She sparked the idea of Duluth’s City Hall moving to the retired Duluth First Baptist Church building. Duluth’s City Hall was headquartered there for many years.
Also, Margaret helped to initiate and organize the first Parkinson’s Disease Support Group for Gwinnett Medical Center. She also volunteered for Parkinson’s Disease research at Emory Hospital.
Hobbies/Leisure Activities: Boating, travel, painting, architectural design. She designed two homes and a houseboat.
Civic/Church Involvement: Duluth First Baptist Church. Changed membership five years ago to Duluth First United Methodist to attend church with the rest of the Parsons family.
Family: Parents Kate Alford Parsons and Calvin McClung Parsons of Duluth (“Mrs. Kate” and “Mr. Calvin.”) Sisters Kathryn Parsons Willis and Ann Parsons Odum. Margaret has five children: Bill Andrews, Bob Andrews, Calvin Andrews, Kathy Fincher, and Ted Andrews (deceased). Her sisters and children all live in this area.
Something hardly anyone knows about you:
Most of Margaret’s paintings have been given away to local businesses and organizations. Although Margaret continues to paint, Parkinson’s, and now her eyesight, limits her subject matter.