Wayne L. Parker was born January 12, 1926 in Ravenna, Ohio. The fourth son of John and Alta Parker, he grew up in North Bloomfield. He graduated from High School there in 1943. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Force, and served from February, 1944 until June, 1946, playing in the band. While his first instrument was the clarinet, during his stint in the Army he taught himself to play the bassoon. Prior to discharge he was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.
He attended the Ohio State University, graduating in 1949 with a B.S. in Business Administration. He was proud of attending college on the GI Bill.
While at Ohio State, he met Claribel Wilcox of Powell, Ohio. Following graduation, they were married on October 15, 1950. They have three children, Eric, Emily and Ellen.
The world of business was well-served by his acumen. Following college, he spent several years working for insurance companies. For many years he was a transportation administrator for suburban school districts in upstate New York.
While business was his lifelong vocation, his passion was always carpentry. He was involved in building two homes for his family. Following retirement in 1985, he loved volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. He was deeply committed to the Habitat principles of providing affordable housing for all. Upon retirement he donated his massive collection of carpentry tools to Habitat.
He was a faithful church member and active in Masonic Lodge.
In 1995 he and Claribel moved to Sun City, Arizona. They fell in love with the beautiful Arizona weather and the retiree lifestyle. In November, 2018 they moved to the metro Denver area to be closer to two of their children.
He died on March 4, 2019 at Keystone Place at Legacy Ridge in Westminster, CO from a rare neurodegenerative disease. Wayne was predeceased by his brother Elmore (Gladystine) Parker, and his only sister Mary (Harold) Griffin. He is survived by his wife Claribel Parker of Westminster, CO; brothers Dale (Ruth) Parker of North Bloomfield, OH and John (Betty) Parker of Jefferson, OH; son Eric Parker of Westminster, CO; and daughters Emily (Clint Felker) Parker of Solon, OH and Ellen (David) James of Westminster, CO; and granddaughters “Bess” (Ian) Marks of Anchorage, AK and Emily James of Logan, UT; and many nieces and nephews.
Services will be at 4:00 PM on Friday, May 3rd at Jefferson United Methodist Church in Jefferson, OH.
Memorial donations may be made to any local chapter of Habitat for Humanity.