It was just announced that actress Melinda Dillon passed away last month (January 9) at the age of 83.
Dillon played everyone's dream mom in A Christmas Story. She was Oscar-nominated for her roles in Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Absence of Malice, and she also notably appeared in The Prince of Tides, Magnolia, Slap Shot, Harry and the Hendersons, and Bound for Glory. One thing I did not know about her until reading her obituary is that she played Honey in the original 1962 Broadway production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, earning a Tony nomination.
I just loved her to pieces in A Christmas Story, so this is really sad news, but I'm glad we got her for one more Christmas.
Rest in peace, Mrs. Parker.