John Parker, 43, died Tuesday morning.
Parker was a community business owner and a former school board member.
“I think he’ll be missed by the community and I really feel for his family,” John Collins, Union County Board of Education chairman said. “It was quite a shock to me. I talked to him a few weeks ago.”
Collins first met Parker when Parker was a seventh or eighth grade student. “He was a pretty nice kid,” Collins said. “I enjoyed dealing with him. He had a pretty dry sense of humor, which served him well as he got older.”
Board member John Crowder was shocked by Parker’s passing. “It was so unexpected and I just heard about it this morning,” Crowder said. “I’m just in a state of shock.”
Crowder knew Parker most of his life, he said. “I’m familiar with the family and I’ve known him for a long time,” Crowder said. “(Parker) served us well on the school board,” Crowder said. “He realized that the people of Union County trusted him to work in the interest of their children and he lived up to that.”
Parker served one term on the school board and ran for Monroe City Council in 2011. Collins, Crowder and Board member Carolyn Lowder remember his dedication to the board. ”
“(Parker) had always been a pretty level-headed person and I think he brought a lot of that to the school board,” Collins said. “I think he was a very good school board member when he left.”
Lowder first met Parker when he was a volunteer with the Quality Leadership Council and did some volunteer work at the schools.
“He’s a very dedicated person,” Lowder said. “He did a lot of training, more than was required to be able to serve well. I think he understood the community very well, having grown up here, and knew the people in Monroe well.”
Parker was a dedicated and capable public servant, Lowder said.
“Always unfailingly polite and respectful to other people around him,” Lowder said.
Collins especially enjoyed Parker’s humor.
“(Parker) was quite a character,” Collins said. “He and I always exchanged private jokes, which both of us saw the humor in, regardless of whether they were humorous to other people or not.”
Lowder remembers Parker enjoying life.
“When we went to Florida for a National School Board Association Meeting, when he was first on the board, we had a relaxed dinner at one of the all-you-can-eat seafood places and he enjoyed the food, enjoyed life with a great gusto,” she said. “It was a very enjoyable occasion.”
She said Parker was very dedicated to his children and very proud of his boys.
“I know he’ll be missed by many people and by me as well,” Lowder said.
Crowder said Parker was a successful business man.
“(Parker) was kind of a quiet, reserved person,” Crowder said. “He was really a business man and he was real successful in business…he always felt that whatever people trusted you to do, it was your job to do that.”
As the news spread throughout the school board and education community, his friends and colleagues were shocked and saddened.
“He went way too soon,” Collins said.
I am deeply saddened by John Parker’s sudden passing, he was very much a quiet gentlemen, always pleasant and reserved. I first met Parker through his son, who spent the day working the poll at Wesley Chapel Elementary promoting his father’e campaign. Mr. Parker won a heavily contested At-Large seat on the School Board in 2006 and served through 2010.(1)
- Parker’s opponents in 2006 were Jerry Davis, Laura Minsk, Lee Neulicht, David Scholl, Gary Sides and Derek J. Skinner. [↩]