Douglas W. Parker

November 21, 1924May 6, 2018

Douglas W. Parker passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 6 at home surrounded by his family. He was born November 21, 1924, in Pasadena, California to Harriet and Walter Parker. He graduated from Eagle Rock High School in Los Angeles at the age of 17 and attended one year of college at Mount Shasta, California. World War II began and Doug’s desire was to become a fighter pilot. In fact Governor Adkins of Arkansas was instrumental in Doug’s achieving his aviation dreams. He received his basic training in Amarillo and then served from there in Minnesota and Phoenix where he received his wings and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in March, 1945. When he received his orders to fly to China, he took a quick leave to marry the love of his life – Loretta Yocum – his “angel.” He continued to call her "angel" throughout the 73 years of their marriage. After receiving an honorable discharge in November of 1945 he enrolled at the University of Arkansas. He was a member of Phi Sigma Honorary Society and graduated with a BS degree in zoology and a minor in geology in the spring of 1948. He and Loretta moved to Fort Smith where he was employed by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission prior to receiving his law degree from LaSalle University in Chicago. He practiced criminal law in Fort Smith for 30 plus years and was known as the best trial lawyer in Arkansas. He was licensed by the Arkansas Supreme Court and was a member of the Sebastian County Bar Association.

As a member of First United Methodist Church he was deeply involved in all aspects – serving as a certified lay minister, trustee of the Foundation Board, youth counselor, member of the Administrative Board, SPR Committee member, a member of the choir, and a Sunday School teacher for 25 years. Doug was an integral part of the Fort Smith community. For over 20 years, he was a charter member and Chairman of Leadership Fort Smith; Chairman of the Arkansas Waterways Commission; and Chairman of the Fort Smith Port Authority. He was one of the three people who instituted the city council form of government we now have in Fort Smith. He was a past president of the Fort Smith Exchange Club, served on the Hardscrabble Country Club board, and the Young Life Board, He was also a 32nd degree Mason, and a Boy Scout of America Silver Beaver.

To say that Doug was an avid and legendary fisherman who could find the fish and what they were biting is an understatement. In fact in his spare time he invented Rabble Rouser lures which sold across America and for which he held 12 patents. He was instrumental in developing Sugar Loaf Lake, Sebastian Lake, and the James Fork Reservoir near Fort Smith.

Doug was preceded in death by two brothers, Dr. Joe Parker and Roy Parker, and a beloved son, Dr. Douglas W. Parker Jr. He is survived by his loving wife, Loretta; and his dear son, Kyle Parker and his wife Renee; Melissa Parker, his daughter-in-law; and his sister, Harriet Jane Parker. He left behind four grandchildren, Ashley Parker, Brandon Parker (wife Jessica), Marshall Parker, and Christian Parker; two great-grandchildren, Wade and Zoie Parker, and a host of nieces and nephews. He will always be remembered for his integrity, sense of humor, gleeful laughter, and that twinkle in his eyes.

Viewing of the body will be at Edwards Funeral Home on Friday, May 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. After a private family committal at Rose Lawn cemetery, a memorial service will be held in the sanctuary of First United Methodist Church on Saturday, May 12 at 11:00 a.m.

Pallbearers will be Doug’s three grandsons and his great-grandson. Honorary pallbearers will be Dr. Boyd Saviers, Dr. John Watts, Bruce McNeill, and Dr. Frank Griffin.

The family wants to thank his caregivers, Chana Willyard, Jane Stouffer, Melissa Omerspan and Peachtree Hospice for all their excellent caring for Mr. Parker.

Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, 200 North 15th Street, Fort Smith, AR 72901 or the Alzheimer’s Association, 4300 Rogers Avenue, Ste 24, Fort Smith, AR 72903.

Online condolences may be sent to


  • Loretta Parker, Wife
  • Kyle Parker and wife Renee, Son
  • Dr. Douglas W. Parker, Jr., Son
  • Melissa Parker, Daughter-in-law
  • Walter and Harriet Parker, Parents
  • Dr. Joe Parker, Brother
  • Roy Parker, Brother
  • Harriet Jane Parker, Sister
  • Ashley Parker, Grandchild
  • Brandon Parker and wife Jessica, Grandchild
  • Marshall Parker, Grandchild
  • Christian Parker, Grandchild
  • Wade Parker, Great Grandchild
  • Zoie Parker, Great Grandchild
  • Doug is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews.

  • Brandon Parker, Active
  • Marshall Parker, Active
  • Christian Parker, Active
  • Wade Parker, Active
  • Dr. Boyd Saviers, Honorary
  • Dr. John Watts, Honorary
  • Bruce McNeill, Honorary
  • Dr. Frank Griffin, Honorary

  • First United Methodist Church
  • Alzheimer’s Association


  • Viewing Friday, May 11, 2018
  • Memorial Service Saturday, May 12, 2018
  • Private Burial Saturday, May 12, 2018

Douglas W. Parker

have a memory or condolence to add?

Orville Clift

May 13, 2018

Doug Parker was one of the first lawyers I met when I came to Ft. Smith employed by the P.A.'s Office. He taught me a considerable amount about trying a lawsuit, as he was a well known and well respected lawyer in the area. I could always count on him to be honest and candid with me in our dealings, but to try to prevail in any case where we were on opposite sides. I also knew Doug, Jr., his lovely wife Loretta and collaberated with Kyle on computer projects. All in all, Doug Parker was a good lawyer and one of my good friends in Ft. Smith for many years. I offer his family my condolences and prayers during these times.

Gary Felker

May 11, 2018

Condolences to the family. Will never forget those Lake Ouachita fishing trips. Caught this morning in honor of Doug Parker.

Pat McCarty

May 11, 2018

To borrow one of Doug's phrases - One of the finest guys I've known.

Learned a lot from him. Learned that fishing was not an excuse to drink a beer - it was work. Got me hooked on fishing so much, my wife never forgave him. Still have a tray devoted to Rabble Rouser lures in my tackle box - along with some other lures he made that may or may not have a name.

Also learned how to cuss without actually cussing (foot-fire comes to mind).

Mostly, just learned that he was a decent, honorable and good man, and that I was lucky to have known him.

Beth stephens

May 10, 2018

What a lucky family you all are. To have had a fine Man like Doug Parker as your Husband, father, grandfather.
How lucky his friends were to have had him in our lives.
Doug will always be remembered as one of the smartest, level headed and fair men of our time.
When we think of Doug, we smile.

Roger Ruth

May 10, 2018


I remember all the times you came into the plant (plastic Specialities) with a new idea for a new lure design. You were like a kid in a toy store. I will almost bet you and Howard are already hatchings plans for a new lure.
May you rest in peace my friend and don't make Bill Norman look to bad with the big one you catch.

Joe McCaskill Jr

May 9, 2018

Mr. Parker is remembered as a caring and just family friend. My brother Jerry, my sister Molly and I will always be grateful for his steady guidance when we lost our parents in 1978. The world was a better place with Mr. Parker in it.

Joe McCaskill and family

Alex Sylvester

May 8, 2018

My condolences to the Parker Family. What a great man. My prayers are with you in the time of sorry. I pray for comfort and strength.

Pamela Skinner

May 8, 2018

I loved and respected this man! I loved the names he was known by: Husband, Dad, Granddad, Friend, Neighbor, and so many more. You taught me so much Douglas! You taught me nothing is more important than loving and protecting family. You taught me one’s name carries the responsibility of honor and dignity. You taught me to serve others is a duty. Thank you for all the times you were my teacher, my mentor but most of all my kind and loving friend. I shall miss you!

Larry Hammond

May 7, 2018

Great family man and best criminal attorney in Fort Smith. A true friend to law enforcement and a friend of mine. Years ago great times were spent with Doug away from the courtroom every April and October with the Ouachita Anglers Association at Little Fir Landing. Great times and many memories of Doug, Doug Jr., and Kyle. I, along with many others, will miss our friend Doug. Prayers to the entire Parker family.

Captain Larry Hammond/Retired/Fort Smith Police Dept.