Cover photo for John Lewis Parker's Obituary
John Lewis Parker Profile Photo
1938 John 2020

John Lewis Parker

July 16, 1938 — July 5, 2020

John Lewis Parker, Colonel U.S. Air Force (Ret), passed away unexpectedly at his home in Madison, Alabama on July 5, 2020 at the age of 81. He was born July 16, 1938 to the late Lewis R. Parker and Jeanette Garland Parker. He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Marlene; brother, David, and four adult children, Jennifer Delmark, Michelle Reeves, Lynn Smith Migliara and Brad Smith as well as 12 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren. He loved his family and looked forward to summers with grandchildren swimming, water skiing, chess games and sci-fi movies. A trail of Coca Cola cans and Hershey's Kisses wrappers followed him everywhere.

After graduating from Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1962, he served 26 years active duty in the Air Force. He had the honor of co-piloting the NAHA Recovery Mission for the Gemini S space craft that carried astronauts Neil Armstong and David Scott into space in 1966. He served as squadron commander of the 40th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Pope Air Force Base and retired in 1988 after serving as Deputy Commander of Maintenance at Rhein-Main Air Force Base in Germany.

After retirement he worked for Singer/Link in Aircraft Simulation. Later, he found his true calling as an instructor for Johnson & Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina. He loved the students and had a passion for teaching. He attended Light of Christ United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina where he served many roles from The Leadership Team to setting up the sanctuary and welcoming members and visitors on Sunday morning. He was also active in the Windsor Oaks Community where he served on numerous committees and as President of the HOA Board for three years. John was a positive force whose smile and energy filled to overflowing every space he occupied, "Not to Worry" was exclaimed often. He enjoyed serving others and had compassion for all. He treated everyone he met with love, respect and acceptance. His family will continue to admire him and honor his life, a life in which he indeed flew high.

In lieu of flowers, Huntsville friends and family can send donations to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 301 Drake Ave. SE, and Charlotte friends and family can send donations to Light of Christ United Methodist Church (Building Fund), 9106 Bryant Farm Road, Charlotte, NC 28079.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Lewis Parker, please visit our flower store.

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