William Warden Parker
October 11, 1925 – May 18, 2019
William (Bill) Warden Parker, 93, of Arlington, Texas, peacefully passed into the arms of Jesus and the loved ones who have gone before him on May 18, 2019. Bill was born to Lucy Hibler, and Eugene Lane Parker, on October 11, 1925, in Grand Prairie, Texas. The sixth of seven children, he always had a playmate (partner in crime) nearby. Bill’s life was full of incredible experiences and adventures. He played baseball and was in the band in high school, a selfproclaimed "popular guy" with "not too many girlfriends, only about 40 or 50." Directly out of high school, he joined the U.S. Navy and was promptly deployed to the South Pacific island of Espiritu Santo (now Vanuatu) during World War II, serving as a Seaman First Class, military police, from 1944 until 1946, and subsequently serving as Airman Second Class with the US Air Force Reserves until 1953. Once he returned to the United States, Bill moved to Utah for a couple of years to be close to his brother and sisterinlaw, Doug and Millie Parker. He rented the basement room of Donnie and Marie Osmond's grandmother's house in Ogden, Utah, and had many adventures there, such as narrowly escaping a drive through a strong blizzard and flying through the perilous mountainous areas of Utah. In 1951, he proposed to Martha Jo Albin, the younger sister of Millie (Albin) Parker, Bill's sisterinlaw. Bill recalled that Martha immediately replied with a resounding, "Yes!" They were married at the ages of 18 and 25 on June 16, 1951, in Bill's sister Wilma's living room in Fort Worth, TX. Bill and Martha grew in love during their 54 years of marriage and were inseparable up until the time of her death on July 19, 2005. Their commitment to each other in marriage left a beautiful example to all of the family. His greatest joy in life was creating a family and building lasting memories. He and his wife Martha had three sons, Randall Lane (Randy), August 5, 1952, William (Bill) Warden II, November 12, 1954, and Robert Dale, January 15, 1959. While raising his children, Bill put significant emphasis on spending quality time together as a family, traveling as much as possible through the western United States, even going negative on vacation time from work and being stretched thin financially in order to make those cherished memories with his wife and children. One trip even included him dodging a bear that swiped at him! Bill and Martha were blessed with 6 grandchildren and 11 greatgrandchildren, and, of all the roles he had in life, the role of “PawPaw” was among his favorites. He was always sure to have a few DumDum suckers in his front pocket for his grandkids when he saw them. He always made himself available whenever he was needed and did not hesitate to drop what he was doing to care for his grandchildren. He enjoyed taking them "knocking around" in his truck to visit homebound relatives, pick up powdered donuts from Mrs. Baird's, and tend his large vegetable garden in the summer. As evidenced in his life, his family was truly everything to Bill; he went to great lengths to maintain relationships with all members of his family, immediate and extended. He would drop in unannounced for morning visits with his family nearby, taking time to catch up with them before returning home for lunch and a nap. He also frequently drove across states (especially Utah) to visit family afar. Strong in both body and mind, Bill stayed physically active, from gardening to chopping wood to driving long distance, well into his eighties. He was no stranger to Las Vegas and Shreveport either, making many trips over the years to hit the slot machines. Bill seemed to have a special connection with animals of all varieties. He fostered a love for animals in his three boys by encouraging them to have all sorts of unique pets while they were growing up, from his trusty dogs to a nest of squirrels to a snake pit, and even a special pet buzzard! Even after his kids were grown, Bill made a special effort to put out snacks for the birds and squirrels each morning, even training some squirrels to come inside the house to retrieve pecans from his hand. Bill upheld a daily routine of coffee at Denny's for over 30 years, and he was a frequent dinnertime visitor of Luby's for years and years so frequent in fact that he knew all the wait staff by name! Always outgoing and charismatic, he never met a stranger. He went out of his way to make everyone feel welcomed and light up their faces with smiles. Bill was very musical, and whether it was humming, whistling or singing, he always had a tune on his lips. Bill Parker touched many lives, for many years, in a way that has left a lasting, memorable impact on all who knew and loved him. Even in the hard times, he focused on the good, always looked for the laugh, taught us how to enjoy the little things in life, and loved deeply. He will be sorely missed, but his family takes heart in knowing that he is with his Savior and reunited with so many family members who have gone before him. It's not goodbye, but rather, "see you in the funny papers!" Bill is preceded in death by wife Martha, son Randy Parker, grandson Brian Parker, his parents, and siblings Eugene Lane Jr., Wilma, Irene, Doug, and Don. Bill will be lovingly remembered by son Bill Parker, Jr., TX, son Dale Parker (Donna); grandchildren Rene Stranghoner (Eric), Blaine Parker (Katy), Rachel Canafax (Matt), Christi Parkinson (Steve), and Heather Lam (Samuel); greatgrandchildren Lindsay Stringer (Brandon), Megan Forbes, Elijah, Emma, Caleb and Ethan Canafax, Jake and Jonah Parkinson, and Silas and Malachi Lam; sister Barbara Scarborough (Buddy), a host of nieces and nephews, and a multitude of beloved friends and extended relatives. Family and friends whose lives were touched by Bill Parker are invited to a graveside service at Southland Cemetery in Grand Prairie, TX, to celebrate Bill's life on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at 12 pm.
- Graveside Service Thursday, May 23, 2019