Thursday, November 10, 2005

One of county’s oldest laid to rest

By SUE WATSON
Staff Writer

John Parker of the Red Banks area was laid to rest October 29, 2005, after living to a ripe age of 102 years and one month.

Parker, a member of Newell Chapel C.M.E. Church, is remembered for the many friendships he made with both races and his moderate attitude toward life, according to Larry Hall.

“He was admired by many for his pleasant demeanor and the way he inspired others,” Hall said. “He was well known and liked and instrumental in getting Moore Road paved from Red Banks Road to Cayce Road. He loved his family and friends.”

Born September 25, 1903, Parker became a farmer and a blacksmith who shod horses and sharpened plows for the public, according to his son Oscar.

Parker also campaigned for politicians in his community. He was a big church worker.

“He loved his church and held every position in the church, everything but preacher,” Oscar Parker said.

He served as deacon, trustee, Sunday School superintendent and teacher at Newell Chapel.

Another Parker admirer is Russell Gray Houston.

“As a youngster I knew I’d better not misbehave around Mr. Parker or I’d get a whipping from my parents,” Houston said. “He would be sure to tell my parents and they would always believe every word he said.”

As a youngster Houston went to Parker’s blacksmith shop to watch him sharpen plow points and was nicely treated there.

“He was very patient with me and spent lots of time explaining to me what he was doing,” Houston said. “There has been no finer man than Mr. Parker. He would always do the right thing and make sure his children would also do the right thing. Mr. Parker was a gentleman I looked up to. I greatly valued his friendship and his advice. I will never forget Mr. John Parker.”

Parker and his wife the late Susie Parker, reared 13 children, 12 of their own. Eight are still living - Oscar, Lessie and Juliette in Marshall County, Mary and Paul now of Memphis, Ora, Dorothy and Melvin of Michigan, and C.C. Parker of Chicago.

He is the son of the late John Wesley and Anna Parker.

John and Susie Benson married December 26, 1924. The Parkers produced 12 children and were blessed with 53 grandchildren, 106 great-grandchildren, 70 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild. The family included many loved nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Parker’s eulogy was presented by Elder Malvin Parker who officiated the memorial service.

Curtist McAuley, Sterling Norfleet Jr., Lenzo Parker, Stanly McAuley, Christopher Thomson and Milton Parker served as pallbearers.

Parker was buried in Newell Chapel Church Cemetery in Victoria.


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