August 18, 1936 - July 4, 2018
Ralph J. Parker, Jr., formerly of Laurinburg, N.C., died peacefully July 4, 2018, appropriately with freedom from his illness on a day we celebrate Independence for the country he loved dearly. He was born August 18,1936 to Ralph Jerome Parker, Sr. and Louise Harrison Parker of Williamston, N.C. His roots were embedded in Martin County until he left to attend North Carolina State University where he graduated from the School of Engineering with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1957. He was a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity and the NCSU Engineering Council. After graduation, he pridefully fulfilled his responsibility to the United States Army while stationed in El Paso, Texas where he met the love of his life, Bette Aubrey of Shreveport, Louisiana. They wed in June 1961 before moving to Newport News, Va. where he was hired as an Engineer on the US military nuclear ship Enterprise at Newport News Shipbuilding. He found his next career step with Thermo Industries bringing them to Raleigh, N.C. and Charlotte, N.C. In 1974, he found his true calling as he became a partner in, and later, owner of Simmons Heating & Air Conditioning in Laurinburg, N.C. It was in this community that he and Bette planted roots for their family with their only daughter, Paige. He was a respected friend, community businessman and leader. He was President of the Kiwanis Club of Laurinburg, member of Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, Rotary Clubs of Scotland County and Avery County, Rocking Chair Club and Scotch Meadows Country Club where he proudly wore the Member-Member Champion’s Green Jacket along with his dear friend, Scoofer Jordan, and enjoyed the Men’s Golf Association. He served on the Board of Directors at Wachovia Bank in Scotland County and on the NC State Board of Examiners for HVAC. He was a faithful, kind and gentle man with a quick wit who was loved and respected by so many. Always up for a good challenge on the golf course, it was the fellowship that he enjoyed the most. Often, it was the Twilight Supper after golf that motivated him on Tuesday summer evenings. Together, he and Bette entertained friends on so many occasions with wonderful Southern hospitality and humor that will always be treasured by those they loved. Together, they traveled extensively and immersed themselves learning about people and cultures around the world. They enjoyed so many years on the North Carolina coast yachting with dear friends Carol and Jim Cheatham and making new ones wherever they adventured to port. Being on the water was a special place for him. After his retirement, they enjoyed their homes at the Cape Fear river and then Banner Elk where they eventually made their permanent retirement home. He loved the tranquility and beauty that surrounded them each day in the mountains. His love and pride for his family and friends was at the forefront of his every day and it was noticed, appreciated and treasured by all that received it. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Bette Aubrey Parker of Banner Elk, NC and daughter Paige Marsh and son-in-law Ken, of Raleigh, NC and his granddaughters Amelia Anne and Cecelia Paige (Cece) both whom he adored so dearly. He is also survived by his only sister, Elizabeth Parker Wynne, “Lib”, a niece and nephews and many special cousins. The family extends much gratitude to the amazing caregivers at Medi Home Hospice in Avery County, Dr. Kimmel and his staff and the Cranberry House. The love and compassion for him and our family this last year was extraordinary and is so appreciated. Our deepest gratitude to Joann Gipson who continues to care and love our family and is so very appreciated. We also offer gratitude to the wonderful friends for their loving support. Witness to the Resurrection service will be held at the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, 600 W Church St., Laurinburg, NC 28352 on August 4, at 3 o’clock. Afterwards, please join the family to celebrate his wonderful life, at Scotch Meadows Country Club, 8100 Tartan Road, Laurinburg, NC. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorials donations to Medi Home Hospice PO Box 1357, Newland, NC 28657, Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, Saint Mary’s School, 900 Hillsborough St., Raleigh NC or the Alzheimer's Association. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.rsfh.net The care of Ralph and his family has been entrusted to Reins-Sturdivant Funeral Home of Newland.
Ralph J. Parker, Jr., formerly of Laurinburg, N.C., died peacefully July 4, 2018, appropriately with freedom from his illness on a day we celebrate Independence for the country he loved dearly. He was born August 18,1936 to Ralph Jerome Parker,... View Obituary & Service Information
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