Dr. Curtis Alan Parker, formerly of Mt. Vernon, IL, passed away on Wednesday, December 26, 2018, as the result of a heart attack at his residence in Mesa, AZ.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mary Ann (Dycus), his five children, Judy Hammer of Mesa, AZ, Jeff Parker (Brenda) of Mt. Vernon, IL, John Parker (Tammy) of Mesa, AZ, Jane Bradford of Nashville, TN and Jacqueline Anderson (Michael) of Wadsworth, IL. He is also survived by six grandchildren; Kelly Hammer of Mesa, AZ, Elizabeth Parker-Ellis (Kelly) of Carbondale, IL, Nathan Parker (Lauren) of El Segundo, CA, Christopher Parker (Lauren) of Wilder, ID, Parker Anderson (Megan) of Murphysboro, IL and Katherine Anderson of Wadsworth, IL, and two great-grandchildren, Kloe Parker and Cheyenne Parker. Curtis is survived by his brother, Dean Parker (Shirley) of Seguin, TX and their extended family in the Houston area.
Curtis was born April 1, 1931 in Fairmount, IL to Elmer and Bernice (Weller) Parker. He graduated from Mt. Vernon Township High School in 1949. In June 1952 he graduated from Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, TN with a of Doctor of Optometry degree. He returned to Mt. Vernon and went into practice with his father-in-law, Dr. John William (Bill) Dycus, who had begun the practice of Optometry on the square in Mt. Vernon in 1926. He continued to provide optometric care to patients in several different offices in Southern Illinois, including the prison at Centralia, until his retirement in 1997.
He was active in a litany of civic organizations, including organizing the Southern Illinois “stamp out polio” vaccine drive, was statewide president of the Illinois Junior Chamber of Commerce, and a proud Rotarian. He was most proud of working tirelessly as a founding father of the Rend Lake College. He was the first chairman of the Rend Lake College Board of Trustees and conducted interviews for the presidency of the College in his home.
Curt and Mary Ann sold the last of their boats docked on Barkley Lake in Kentucky, then switched to motor homes, and moved to Mesa, AZ in 1999. They enjoyed the warm, dry Arizona weather and traveling out west in their motor home. Curt continued his devotion to his faith, volunteerism and philanthropy after the move to Arizona.
He would want you to know he was very proud of 70 years of marriage to Mary Ann, loved his family, his faith, his profession and listening to Louis Prima albums.
A memorial service will be held at Red Mountain United Methodist Church in Mesa, AZ at 11 AM on Saturday January 19th. The address is 2936 N. Power Road, Mesa AZ, 85215. Memorial donations may be made to “Red Mountain United Methodist Church” or the “United Food Bank” 245 S. Nina Dr., Mesa, AZ 85210, in lieu of flowers.