Obituary of Richard Elton Parker
Richard Elton Parker, surrounded by his family, exited his life and cancer journey on Saturday, July 29, 2023. Confronting his last moments as he always did, he faced the last four years with his rugged Army veteran exterior and a toughness noted by those who knew him. His courage and late-in-life tenderness filled the last days surrounded by family.
Just celebrating his 66th birthday, Richard was born on July 8, 1957, in Rochester New York. A natural born hustler with an entrepreneur spirit had Richard working from the youthful age of 11 as a paper route boy where he first fell in love with his wife of 48 years, Deborah Parker [Mitchell]. The couple spent the first half of their marriage traveling the states together as he served in the US Army as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Unit. Sergeant Parker received an honorable discharge and retired with a total of 55 jumps in 1985. In the second half of their marriage the couple relocated to South Carolina where Richard graduated from Midlands Technical College and continued to work in the HVAC/Residential Industry until retiring in 2019. Through the years, Richard was a hobbyist, side-hustle entrepreneur and enjoyed Sunday Nascar races, trips to the casinos to play poker and endlessly watched Fox news.
Survived by his wife Deborah and their two children: daughter, Mellisa Parker Ayer [husband Joey] of Blythewood, son, Richard Parker II [fiancé Elizabeth Shoaf] of Lugoff, and three grandchildren: Addisyn Ayer , Richard Parker III , and Lucas Parker [4 months]. Richard was predeceased by his mother, Donna Gundrum and survived by his stepfather, Donald Gundrum of Florida and siblings, brother, Phillip Parker [Rochester], and sisters, Patti Parker-Gray and Barbara McIntyre [Haines City, FL], and sisters-in-laws, Sandy O’Shea [James] and Mable O’Shea followed by dozens of nephews and nieces.
Services will be held on Wednesday, August 9, 2023, at Village Church at 2204 Park St, Columbia, SC at 1:30 pm followed by military honors at 3:00 pm at the Fort Jackson National Cemetery at 4170 Percival Road, Columbia, SC.
South Carolina Cremation Society is assisting the family. Family and friends may sign the online guest book by clicking on the “Tribute Wall” tab above.
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