Donald Wayne Parker, 81

Published 1:53 pm Friday, April 7, 2023

Donald W. Parker: A Life Well-Lived

Donald Wayne Parker, a beloved family man and friend, passed away peacefully at 81 on March 9, 2023. Don was known for his integrity, kindness, and dedication to loved ones, as well as his passion for community service and education.

Born on December 12, 1941, in Washington, D.C., to the late George Franklin Parker and Cynthia Ann Love, the family returned to TN and Don graduated from Claiborne County High School. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Lincoln Memorial University in 1963. Immediately after graduation, he entered Naval Flight School in 1963. He spent nine years in the Navy achieving the rank of Lieutenant, served in the Vietnam War, and then completed his Master’s Degree in Education at the University of South Carolina during his last tour of duty with the Navy teaching NROTC. His next career in education included being Principal at 3 different High Schools in SC and TN. Don joined Tennessee Farm Bureau in 1975 and after two years moved to Kingsport, TN to open a successful State Farm Agency. After 9 years, the family moved to Jacksonville, FL, where Don became a State Farm Agency Manager. The final stage of his career from 1995 until 2022 he was a State Farm Agent in Deland, FL.

A dedicated father and doting “Pawpaw,” Don always supported and encouraged his children and grandchildren. During his Kingsport, TN years, Don was actively involved in the community. He was a natural storyteller and loved talking to everyone he met. Don served as PTA President; helped chaperone student trips to Kentucky and Washington, DC; was very active in The Optimist Club; enjoyed performing in community theater and was an active leader in his church. His children considered Kingsport as their “hometown” as their formative years were spent there. At one time he wrote a column for the Claiborne Progress called Hometown, TN to share short stories about his memories and appreciation for the community, family, and people he grew up knowing. Don enjoyed traveling the world, cheering for the Florida State Seminoles, and attending Bluegrass music festivals.

Don is survived by his partner, Dominic Joseph Brunetti; children, Eric Clay Parker (Nicholle) and Cynthia Lynne Parker; grandchildren, Ryan Clay Parker and Adam Parker Faulkner; former wife Sharon Rouse Parker, Mother of his children, and siblings, Bob Parker (Lisa), Sandy Schwalb (Ron), and Vicki Greene (Richard). He was predeceased by his parents, George and Cynthia.

A celebration of Don’s life will be held at Fairview Memorial Cemetery on May 13, 2023, at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The George and Don Parker Endowment Scholarship Fund at Lincoln Memorial University¬†www.LMUnet.edu/DonParker

Don will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him. His legacy of love, dedication, and service will live on through the many lives he touched.

Coffey Funeral Home in charge of services