John P. Parker, Jr. of Jefferson, Ohio, died peacefully on December 8 at the age of 96, at The Legacy Assisted Living Center in Gustavus, Ohio.
Born in Freedom, Portage County, Ohio on December 22, 1924 to Alta Pettit Parker and John P. Parker, Sr., Parker grew up in North Bloomfield, Ohio in Trumbull County.
A leader in the field of agriculture and a devoted Buckeye, Parker graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics in 1951. He served as Associate County Agent in Summit County until 1954 and County Agent in Ashtabula County from 1954-1964, during which time he completed a Master of Science in Agricultural Marketing from Cornell University in 1961. Between 1968 and 1982, he served as Area Dairy Industry Agent for the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster, the District Supervisor in Canfield, and Assistant to the Extension Director in Columbus. Following his retirement, he took two short-term Extension assignments in Geauga County in the absence of the County Agent.
Parker was honored with numerous awards and accolades throughout his robust career. Among his proudest accomplishments was chairing a committee to purchase 225 acres of land for 4-H Camp Whitewood in Windsor, Ohio - a site that continues to provide educational experiences for young people. He also served in an advisory role to the Middlefield Original Cheese Cooperative, an Amish group, to reorganize their cooperative and build a new cheese house to provide a market for their milk. He chaired a committee to secure funding for and construct the new Trumbull County Agriculture and Family Education Center, which was dedicated in April of 2003, and worked closely with County Commissioners and Agencies to secure necessary funds and plan for their space and office management. And, he wrote up to three agriculture columns a month for the Warren Tribune Chronicle and the Jefferson Gazette.
The pride of Parker’s life was his family. In 1949 he married Frances Patrick, with whom he had two daughters. He is survived by both daughters: Jill Parker Carter and husband Kevin Carter of Bel Air MD; and Joy Marie Parker and partner Freddie Weisberg of Minneapolis, MN. He is also survived by two grandchildren, Molly Elizabeth Carter of Boston, MA and Patrick John Carter of New York, NY, and ten devoted nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and his four siblings: Elmore, Dale, Wayne, and Mary (Griffin).
After losing Frances in 1987, Parker married Betty Keep in 1990. He is survived by Betty and her four children, Dave (Diane) Keep of Dorset, OH, Dan (Pam) Keep of Dorset, OH, Teresa Wludyga of Willoughby, OH and Dale (Diane) Keep of Jefferson, OH, eleven grandchildren, and sixteen great-grandchildren.
Parker was a lifelong member of The United Methodist Church, where he held leadership positions wherever he lived. He was blessed with a long life filled with love, patience, and accomplishment, and he will be remembered for the commitment and kindness he showed every project he undertook and by every person lucky enough to be part of his life. Memorial contributions may be made to 4-H Camp Whitewood, 4hcampwhitewood.com or Jefferson United Methodist Church, jeffersonumc.com.
Funeral services will be held Monday December 13th at Jefferson United Methodist Church, 125 E. Jefferson Street; calling hours will be held from 11:00-12:00 with funeral services starting at 12:00. His burial will take place on Tuesday at 1:00p.m. at Rosehill Burial Park in Fairlawn, Ohio.
THE FUNERAL SERVICE AT NOON MONDAY WILL BE LIVESTREAMED ON THE JEFFERSON UNITED METHODIST FACEBOOK PAGE
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