Richard Lee Parker
January 18, 1934 – March 25, 2018
Richard Lee Parker, 84, of Mt. Crawford, VA passed away March 25, after a brief illness. He was born January 18, 1934 in Conway, AR son of the late Kelsey W. and Daisy Saye Parker. He was also preceded in death by his brother, Ken Parker. Richard was a graduate of the University of Central Arkansas (formerly Arkansas State Teachers College) in Conway, AR with a degree in Speech & Drama. On May 5, 1957 he married the former Etha Jane McCubbin who survives. He is also survived by his children, Kevin of Emporia, VA; Laura Logan of Bridgewater; and Michael (Gayle) of Winston Salem, NC. Richard is survived by 4 grandchildren, Kelsey Miner (Mark) of Falls Church, VA, Chloe Logan (fiancée to Clint Simmons) of Bridgewater, VA, Seth Parker of Nashville, TN and Savannah Parker of Winston Salem, NC; one niece, Nancy Martinsen (Randy). Also surviving are step grandchildren Tracy Davis (Mark) of Waynesboro, VA and Travis Earl of Weyers Cave, and four step great-grandchildren Madison, Emma and Cara Davis, and Hattie Earl. Richard spent his adult career working in television and media starting in Little Rock, AR as a cameraman at KARK-TV while in college, continuing with the US Army at the Army Pictorial Center, Long Island City, NY where he made kinescope training films. Following his discharge from service, Richard worked in production at KOTV in Tulsa, OK. In 1964, he began working in the new Educational/Public TV industry at WDCN in Nashville, TN. He spent the remainder of his career in management at WVPT in Harrisonburg, VA where he became President and General Manager of the two-year-old station. It was a time of great growth and community involvement for WVPT. He left in 1985 to become Associate Director for OETA in Oklahoma City, OK for a short time before being persuaded to move to Northwest Indiana to build and put on air the only TV station in Northwest Indiana. WYIN, in Merrillville, IN went live in the Fall of 1987. Being grandparents, Richard and Jane returned to the Shenandoah Valley to be closer to family in 1997. Richard enjoyed being in front of the TV camera for many years as host of the public affairs program “Consider This” on WVPT.
Richard was a member of the Rotary Club in both Harrisonburg and Merrillville, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also a very involved member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board in Virginia and Indiana, where he and Jane consistently rang the bell at kettle locations, picked up kettles and helped with Christmas food and toy pick up. For many years, Richard was a member of, and held leadership roles at Harrisonburg Baptist Church and was most recently a member at First Presbyterian Church. His faith was strong and important to him, as was his love of books and travel. He and Jane especially enjoyed their travels in Europe, Alaska, Hawaii and road trips throughout the United States and Canada with his special cousin Bobbye Brewer and her late husband Jim. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Richard’s memory to The Salvation Army at 185 Ashby Avenue, Harrisonburg, 22802, or WVPT Public Television at 847 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 (www.wvpt.net).
The family will receive friends 6:00-8:00 pm, Tuesday, March 27, 2018 at Lindsey Funeral Home in Harrisonburg.
A memorial service will be held 11:00 am, Wednesday, March 28, 2018 at First Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg, with Rev. Dr. Jon Heeringa and Rev. Scott Thayer officiating. A private burial will be held earlier in the day.
Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.
- Etha "Jane" McCubbin Parker, Wife
- Kevin Parker, Son
- Laura Logan, Daughter
- Michael Parker & wife, Gayle, Son
- Kelsey Miner & husband, Mark, Grandchild
- Chloe Logan & fiance' Clint Simmons, Grandchild
- Seth Parker, Grandchild
- Savannah Parker, Grandchild
- Nancy Martinsen & husband, Randy, Niece
- Tracy Davis & husband, Mark, Step-Grandchild
- Travis Earl, Step-Grandchild
- Madison Davis, Step-Great-Grandchild
- Emma Davis, Step-Great-Grandchild
- Cara Davis, Step-Great-Grandchildren
- Hattie Earl, Step-Great-Grandchild
- Daisy Saye Parker, Mother
- Kelsey W. Parker, Father
- Ken Parker, Brother
The Salvation Army
185 Ashby Avenue, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22802
- WVPT Public Television
- Visitation Tuesday, March 27, 2018
- Memorial Service Wednesday, March 28, 2018
Richard Lee Parker
March 28, 2018
I was so sorry to read of Richard's passing. I remember you as a church friend, bridge friend, and most recently just seeing your love for him as I volunteered in the Radiation Dept. at SRMH. I prayed for you both and I trust God's grace will be sufficient for you at this most difficult time. Cling to the memories! Blessings, Wilda Holsinger
March 28, 2018
May The Lord bring peace and comfort as you celebrate Richard's life. Will remember his bright smile. Lyn and Norris Weaver
March 27, 2018
While serving as Chief Engineer of WVPT from 1971 thru 1976, I had constant interaction with Richard as my immediate boss. We always had lively discussions in the management meetings. This was in the early days of Public Television and Richard's leadership was crucial to the success of the fledgling UHF TV station in the Shenandoah Valley. I have always been thankful to Richard for having the confidence to entrust a twenty-three-year-old from Kentucky with technical responsibility for the station. I have included a photo of the station's first color camera in the studio in 1974. All my best to Jane and the family.