On January 14, 2011, Walt Parker lost his 5 year battle with cancer. Walt was born September 26, 1950, in Dallas. He was the only child of Walt, Sr. and Betty Parker, of Rockport, Texas. The family moved to Alabama and then Georgia, where Walt graduated from Avondale High School in 1968. Walt’s father, a WWII and Korean War Navy veteran, is a trade union man turned attorney and his mother is a retired nurse. Walt always credited his parents for his sense of honesty, loyalty and determination.
Walt began his military training early when he spent one year at the San Marcos Baptist Academy. He had many fond memories of “Agony Hill.” After high school Walt enlisted in the US Army. He was Stationed at Fort Lee, Virginia and served in Long Binh, Vietnam until 1970. Walt’s love for organization was taught by his mother, but it was fine-tuned in the military. Evidence of this was found throughout his home and business.
After the service, Walt studied pre-law and history at UT in Arlington where he also became a lifelong member of Pi Kappa Alpha. It was here that history became a true passion for Walt. He watched every documentary and read every book he could find about American history. The Civil War and the Texas Revolution were of particular interest to him. He spent many hours playing strategic war games with friends and his cousin, Tracy. Walt was 13 and in Dallas in 1963 and this produced a keen interest in the assassination of JFK and its historical significance. There are some who believe that he had the conspiracy all figured out!
Walt moved to Galveston in 1982 where he worked primarily as a salesman prior to opening his own business, Car Shops, Inc., in 1985. Walt was the ultimate IBC, he loved it here. He joined Kiwanis during college, but did not return to the organization until 2001 with the Galveston club. Walt found his true calling in working with the Key Club of Ball High and Circle K at TAMUG. As an advisor to these sponsored youth clubs, he guided each to many successful years of community service. For his efforts, Walt was the recipient of many Kiwanis awards including The Hixson in 2006 and Kiwanian of the Year in 2009.
Walt is survived by his parents, Walt and Betty Parker, wife, Susan and son Benjamin. Daughters Melissa Edwards, her husband Ken and their children Dillon, Brendan and Rowan of Missouri City; and Melinda Parker of Virginia. “Froggie” is also survived by many aunts, uncles and cousins, including his beloved Aunt Jenny (Peck) who gave him his favorite nickname. The family wishes to thank the Hospice Care Team, especially Pam Austin, and the UTMB staff, especially nurses Lauren, Amanda, Singh and Bethanie. Walt and Susan are eternally grateful for the dear friendship of Carolyn Webb, Rachael Alsup, Nancy Correll and Chris Myers, who have been a constant source of help and support over the past month.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, January 18th, at 6:30 pm, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home, 3028 Broadway in Galveston.
Memorials may be made to Galveston Kiwanis Scholarship Fund.