Obituary for John Parker Sr.
John W. Parker, Sr. of Granbury was called to God Thursday morning, January 26, 2012 at the tender age of 94.
Funeral service; 1:00 p.m. Thursday, February 2, Lexington Baptist Church in Lexington, Texas.
Visitation: 3:00 -8:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 30, 2012 at Martin's Funeral Home, Granbury, TX.
Born April 9, 1917 to Nancy and Curtis Parker in Lexington, Texas, John's family continues to operate one of the longest continually running ranches in the state of Texas, a designation given by the southwest Texas Cattlemen's Association. Mr. Parker proudly served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a pilot, achieving the rank of Captain.
Mr. Parker drove for Mayflower Moving Company for over 25 years, before starting his own trucking company, and ending up owning over a quarter of the trucks in Mayflower's Electronic Fleet. He then moved into financing trucks for other drivers who had fallen on hard time, leading him into a lucrative and rewarding life of helping those men become independent owner/operators.
Mr. Parker moved to Granbury in 1978 with his wife, Theda Rhea. She preceded him in death in 1987 after 49 s of marriage. He then met and had a loving 25 year relationship with Kay Willis, who passed away in 2011.
Mr. Parker is survived by: son, John W. Parker, Jr.; daughter, Donna Hill; brother, Edward Parker; sister, Rebecca Lewis; grandchildren, Scott Parker, Melissa Parker, Gregg Hill, Bradley Hill, Regina Graves and 7 great-grandchildren.
Martin's Funeral Home
Life Story for John Parker Sr.
An Uncommon Man
We have come today to celebrate the life of an uncommon man. The fact that you are here is a testament to your knowledge of this undeniable truth. The first born son of Nancy Pearl and Curtis Carl Parker was born John William Parker on April 9, 1917. So simple a moniker never seemed enough for so large a man. Through the years he became known as Big Jack, J. E., Prookie, Captain, Big John, Big Daddy and other names of endearment and affections, because, you see uncommon men can't be confined under one light. Each person sees them through a different prism, and John William Parker was a veritable kaleidoscope of shifting colors. To our great loss, that complex, colorful array of every-changing light was finally extinguished at the young age of 94, when God called John home Thursday morning, January 26th at 7:45 a.m.
From rancher to Army Air Corps Captain, earth mover to truck driver and finally to financier. John moved through each career with the ease and purpose of a man sure of where life would take him, making money doing it. Over the last 30 years of his life, John helped hundreds of financially isolated truck drivers regain their credit, their pride and their lives by providing financing when others wouldn't. It was a risk to be sure; friends cautioned against it. But John sensed a winning hand when others saw imminent failure. As John's reward, many of these men because very successful and, as successful men, could now buy their trucks from anyone, at lower interest rates, but most came back to John...because they realized what they had found i John - - an uncommon man.
We all know the brash, the bold, the brave, the funny side of John William Parker, but we wanted you to know the little known side of John...the benevolent side. The years he donated his truck and trailer to a Granbury church to take food and medicine to Mexico, the years he donated coats for children who had none, or turkeys at Christmas for families who otherwise would go without, always insisting his donations remain anonymous. He designed, built and donated the Chapel at Prospect Cemetery in Lexington. We suspect this act to be a little less altruistic since this is where John has chosen to rest in peace. That little chapel, however, will stand as a testament to John's love of his roots for decades to come.
We thank you for coming today to celebrate the uncommon life of John W. Parker, Sr.
John is survived by his brother, Edward Parker; sister, Rebecca Lewis; son, John William Parker, Jr; daughter, Donna Rhea Hill; nieces, Cindy Spencer and Pam Sherrill; nephews, Barry Parker and Randy Lewis; grandchildren, Scott Parker, Melissa Parker, Gregg Hill, Bradley Hill and Regina Graces; and 7 great-grandchildren