Don E. Parker, 67, of Princeton passed away peacefully in his sleep at home on Friday, October 31, 2014.
He was born in Evansville on February 7, 1947, to
Edmond O. and Helen (Loveless) Parker who lived in Boonville. A premature baby,
he enjoyed telling everyone he was brought home from the hospital in a shoebox.
Don attended Beaver (OH) High School and traveled there to the class of 1964Â’s 50th reunion in May. A 1964 graduate of Oakland City High School, he was a member of the reunion committee and enjoyed their recent reunion with long-time friends.
Don was a United States Air Force veteran of the 360th Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron serving at Tan Son Nhut Airbase in Saigon in 1967-68 during the Vietnam War and survived the 1968 Tet Offensive. In 1993 he co-founded the Tan Son Nhut Association not only for veterans who were stationed at the air base, but for anyone who believed in America and who backed the veterans of all wars. He was the first president emeritus of this association. He was thrilled to help unveil a monument to the TSNA on the Vanderburgh County courthouse lawn this summer during the association’s reunion.
He worked for many years for Texas Eastern Petroleum Products Pipeline in Oakland City as an operator senior and, since 2002, was a special deputy for the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office.
He was a two-time Past Exalted Ruler of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks Lodge 634 in Princeton and a four-time commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1147, where he also earned a white hat from the state VFW for his contributions and hard work. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 256 in Oakland City and the Prince Lodge 231 of the Free and Accepted Masons in Princeton. He was a member of the Oakland City Primitive Baptist Church, but he attended services with his family at the Patoka United Methodist Church where he was active making apple butter and helping with dinners.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his grandparents who reared him, Otis A. and Ida (Blake) Merritt; his step-father, Troy Dennis; two sisters, Beverly (Parker) Clark and Lynda Lou (Parker) Powell; and his in-laws, Charles R. and Eloise Carnahan.
He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Sue Ellen (Carnahan) Parker of Princeton; their daughters and sons-in-law, Jennifer and John McGarrah of Franklin, TN, and Rebecca Parker and Bryan Ellis of Princeton; six grandchildren, Lauren, Jack and Katherine McGarrah and Jenna and Brylee Ellis and a grandson to be born in November; one brother-in-law, Ed Powell of California; his sister, Dixie Ward of Texas; numerous nieces and nephews; and his dog, Abby.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 am on Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at Colvin Funeral Home in Princeton, officiated by Rev. Jeff Pinney. Burial will follow at the Columbia White Church Cemetery in Princeton.
Visitation will be from 4 until 8 pm Monday at the funeral home. Prince Lodge 231 will conduct Masonic services at 7 pm Monday. Military graveside services will be conducted by Retired Military Veterans.