Please feel free to share your memories about Harvey, we would love to read them. Thank you for coming to his website.

Karen, Erika, Neil

Dr. Harvey Weston Parker

December 23, 1936May 5, 2020

Dr. Harvey Weston Parker, of Bellevue, WA, died peacefully at his home on May 5th, 2020. He battled Ampullary Cancer for almost two years with his family always by his side.

Harvey was born in Panama City, Panama on December 23rd, 1936. He had the privilege of being raised by four mothers, which included his mother, his grandmother and his two aunts - Norma Harrington and Muriel Neill, while living in the Panama Canal Zone, Colorado, Alabama, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. He attended the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now called Auburn University) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering (BSCE) in 1957. He received his M.S. in Civil Engineering from Harvard in 1967 and then his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a Minor in Geology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1976.

He made significant civil engineering contributions and publications for over 55 years. From his time as Chief Engineer of a US Navy Destroyer, to his pioneering work on steel fiber shotcrete in 1972, and to his innovative approaches to civil engineering projects including the Mount Baker Ridge Tunnel in Seattle, Washington (the largest soil tunnel in the world) and metro systems across the United States including Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, Boston and Chicago.

He also gave back to the industry through leadership and service. He was Chairman of several organizations including the US National Committee on Tunneling Technology, The Underground Technology Research Council and the Underground Shotcrete Subcommittee for the American Concrete Institute Committee. He served as president of the International Tunneling Association & Underground Space Association (ITA) from 2004-2007. In 2019, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the ITA.

One of Harvey's greatest loves was traveling with his wife Karen. They traveled throughout the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia and made lifelong friends everywhere they stayed. He also enjoyed spending quality time with his extended family and grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father Harvey Parker II and his mother Barbara O"Shaughnessy. He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Karen of Bellevue, WA, son Neil (Diane) Parker of Tucson, AZ, and daughter Erika (Chris) Price of Edmonds, WA. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Ryan, Stephen, Sydney and Andrew.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his name to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org), Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (www.seattlecca.org), the University of Illinois, Grainger College of Engineering (www.grainger.illinois.edu/giving) or to EvergreenHealth Hospice Services (www.evergreenhealthfoundation.org, please specify “to support the Hospice program".

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Harvey's memorial service will be held at a future date. The family will be in touch with friends and family as information is available.


Dr. Harvey Weston Parker

have a memory or condolence to add?

R.K. Goel

June 1, 2020

Really very sad to read about the sad demise of Prof. Harvey Parker.

I met first and last time with Prof. Harvey Parker during the World Tunnel Congress in 2007 at Prague, Czech Republic and also listen his lecture there. I still remember one sentence from his lecture - "Underground Space should be looked as the investment for future generations". This shows the futuristic thinking of a great human being Prof. Parker. I always use to share his quote during my lectures.

May his departed soul rest in peace.

Dr. R. K. Goel
Chief Scientist
Tunnel and Underground Space Design
email: rkgoel15@gmail.com

martin knights

May 23, 2020

In Memory of Harvey Parker –a colleague, a gentleman, and family friend

With deepest sympathy to Karen and the family.

What a kind person Harvey was . He always had time to sit and talk , help others and exchange ideas .

I fortunate to be the successor to Harvey as ITA President from 2007-10 and benefitted from his experience ,learning and wise counsel . His commitment to the industry was consistent and he always showed up and did his best. He knew how to work the room and was the consummate networker, confidante and had a happy blend of work, family, social and worldly conversation. He was really proud to be an ITA President and at each ITA , RETC, NAT or George Fox event he would always make sure that there was a gathering of past , former and current Presidents to propose a toast to ITA ‘s health and to record the gathering on camera…. just as he did in Naples last year ! (the attached picture is testimony to that; 5 ITA Presidents ….with Harvey at the centre ).

We liked Harvey a lot and Jenni and l always teamed up with Harvey and Karen at the US or overseas conferences. They made a great couple and were extremely popular with everyone they met. Jenni and l fondly remember our ITA Exco visit in 2008 to Vietnam and the 3 day post ITA tour of north and mid Vietnam with Harvey and Karen and the then ITA Secretary General Claude Berenguier and his wife Nan. A lot of laughter , vociferous opinions , eating, drinking, friendship and sight seeing ; conducted mostly on board a small tour bus…… with little observation of social distancing !

We miss you Harvey !

Martin and Jennifer Knights

Carlos Jaramillo

May 22, 2020

My condolences to the family. We invited Harvey to participate as a member of the BOC for the Esti Hydroelectric Project in Panama. He was delighted to join us, not only because the project was challenging, but because it gave him the opportunity to visit his birthplace after many years. The photo shows Harvey documenting the site visit with Barry Cooke and Gabe Fernandez (behind Harvey). We enjoyed working with him in this project and we always enjoyed his friendship, renovated each year during our tunnel conferences, and participation in other projects. We will miss Harvey.

Jim and Carol Mahar

May 21, 2020

We were so sorry to learn of Harvey's illness and passing. What wonderful memories we have of Harvey, Karen, and their children from our younger days in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois. Our deepest condolences to Karen and their offspring. It was a treat to know them all!
Carol and Jim Mahar

John Reilly

May 20, 2020

With great sympathy to Karen, Erica, Neil and his grandchildren
I’ve been fortunate to know and work with Harvey for nearly 30 years, first within ITA and then on projects in North America. Sometimes I would bring him in (Seattle Alaskan Way, Evergreen Point floating bridge) and sometimes he would bring me in (LA Metro). We co-authored many papers together on key topics for underground planning, design and construction, where his many insights and recommendations were positive, thoughtful, clear, far-sighted and relevant. He advised me while I was President of UCA and Chair of 2 ITA Working Groups – always generous with his time and wisdom.
As a fellow consultant, he helped me in many ways. When issues were difficult we would often compare notes and recommendations. However, it was as a trusted friend that I most remember my relationship with Harvey and Karen. He was always generous, positive and far-sighted. Sandra and I will miss him personally and professionally.

Perla Schmidt

May 20, 2020

Dear Karen, Neil and Erica,

I am deeply saddened to hear of Harvey’s passing. He was a gentle, compassionate and kind man. I am happy that Birger introduced our families together. Harvey was a great friend even after Birger was gone, he invited me to several ITA meetings. I remember very well when he and you Karen took me as roommate in Milan. It was a little tight for three , the hotel described the extra bed was adequate, Harvey took it with ease and told me I am family. You will be missed my friend, Rest In Peace ☮️ I am including a photo taken at the reception in Bergen ITA 2017.

Hamdi Aydin

May 20, 2020

I am very saddened to learn about passing of Harvey.

I had the honor to meet and talk to Harvey in various activities of International Tunneling Association & Underground Space Association (ITA) during and after his presidency. In 2005, world tunnel conference was held in Istanbul, Turkey when Harvey was the President. Everybody, including him, were very happy with the organization and to be in Turkey. Later when we have met on several occasions, he was always asking me when we would again meet in Turkey. Harvey could not see Turkey announcing his candidacy for organizing the world tunnel conference in 2023 (http://www.wtc2023turkey.org/); and if Turkey wins the election, unfortunately Harvey will not be able to be with us.

He was a very positive, friendly and intelligent person as well as being a gentleman. He will always be remembered.

I extend my deepest condolences and patience to his beloved family.

May God allow him to rest in peace.

Hamdi Aydin
Member of the ITA-AITES Executive Council and
Board Member of Turkish Road Association (TRA)

Laurel Rich

May 18, 2020

Many words come to mind as we remember Harvey. Most prominent are kind, stalwart, and genuine. We will miss his easy-going nature, the twinkle in his eyes, and his sense of humor. He was so quick to smile and laugh. He had a terrific laugh, didn’t he? We feel extremely grateful for having had the good fortune of knowing and working with Harvey for several decades. He quickly became our friend. We hurt. We know his family hurts. We are praying for you, and for peace to come to you, in due time. With all our love, Laurel and Reed.

Michael Elwell

May 18, 2020

Michael & Eileen Elwell
With great sympathy
to Karen, Erica, Neil

Harvey Weston Parker

When I first met Harvey Parker, It was in our house during an ice storm on Long Island NY (about 1985). We were a privileged family in the Long Island elite, we had a potbelly stove. Heat was a premium when you have been out of it for four days and nights without electricity. Dottie, my wife, knew the Parkers, they only lived three blocks from us. Their kids Neil and Erika went to Flower Hill Elementary school with my two older children, Cindy & Bryan. Cindy is still a good friend of Erika, forty-plus years later.

The Parkers left our little group in Long Island to move to Seattle 1990? I was transferred to Seattle in 1991, the first people we called were Harvey & Karen. With their suggestions and advice, we moved to Yarrow Point, WA about 1 mile from the Parkers.
We socialized with the Parkers. I had a wonderful time with Harvey and the discussions we had over his many trips, his Navy career, tunneling, engineering experiences. I also had a common interest with him in Photoshop and Lightroom, two tools that I used in my business with Kodak. Harvey, with his photographic involvement on his tunneling and expeditions, had a need for these tools. I loved talking with him, his positive viewpoint, depth of knowledge, brilliant viewpoint was always exhilarating.
Our children grew older, college, jobs, weddings, and grandchildren. Harvey was a proud parent! When he was talking about his children there was always get a twinkle in his eye. He was so proud of them. When talking about the Grandchildren he would get that double twinkle.
Harvey, you earned a spectacular life. Great education, a wonderful marriage, fantastic kids, great loyal friends, unbelievable career, made the world a better place, with lots of love. I am a better person for knowing you. May God bless you.

Michael Elwell

Jon Kaneshiro

May 18, 2020

Dear Karen and family.
Harvey was a gentleman and a mover and shaker in the tunneling industry. He had a beautiful voice that never seemed to tire or go hoarse.

I had first contacted Harvey around 1983, while working on the steel-fiber shotcrete specifications for the Stanford Linear Collider and grew to know him as he had hired Tom Scotese to work on the Seattle Bus tunnels and through his involvement in ACI, UTRC, the OTHG (dubbed the Over-The-Hill-Gang), which consisted of two former bosses, Don Rose and Dick Harding, as well as Don Dodds, Ed Kennedy, Harvey, and as I recall also Ed Graf and Howard Handewith. And of course, I grew to know him with the ITA, where he got me involved in Working Group 15, Tunnelling and the Environment, whence he also served as Tutor.

Harvey was a force in tunneling, and I owe a great deal of gratitude for his kindness, good deeds and contributions to the industry and his promotion of my involvement.

With deepest sympathy,
Jon and Emi



When someone is identified as a natural leader, certain images come to mind. First thoughts are of a no-nonsense, tough-minded, dedicated and disciplined person. This description accurately fits Dr. Harvey Weston Parker who was indeed a born manager. He will be remembered as being highly organized, practical and realistic. He was a person who always carried a strong sense of duty with him throughout his life. Possessed with traditional “old school” morals, Harvey was an individual who clearly communicated to those around him just who he was and what he was all about. Everyone acquainted with Harvey knew him as a well-respected man who was a stable force in his community.

Harvey was born on December 23, 1936 at Panama City Hospital in Panama City, Panama. His parents were Harvey Weston Parker, Barbara E. Parker O'Shaughessy. Harvey was raised in Panama Canal Zone, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Birmingham, Alabama. Even as a youngster, Harvey learned to be objective and decisive. His faith in the principles of authority and dependability was something that he carried with him throughout his life.

As a young boy, Harvey was able to put his natural abilities to work. He was a bit like the sergeant of the family, helping to make sure that the others did what they should do and that they avoided those things they weren’t supposed to. In other words, he liked to organize and direct. Harvey was raised with one half-sister, Lillian (Zoni) Parker Stone. Harvey had an inborn appreciation for the order in the family, allowing for the oldest members to be the most respected and to take on the most responsibility. For Harvey, this was a natural order of life, one he gladly embraced.

Harvey's matter-of-fact attitude about most things was developed during his childhood. As a young boy, Harvey enjoyed being part of teams, and organizations and groups of other kids who shared similar interests. Harvey took part in baseball, tree tag, swinging on vines in Panama until a vine snapped and he broke both arms. He "played" on Saturdays with the anti-aircraft guns (compliments to the soldiers). In his spare time he liked having lunch with U S. Soldiers during the war, saving tin wrappers from, gum baseball cards. Harvey's memorable achievements included the swimming team, later in Argentina, exploring the sites of Buenos Aires by train, and "steaming" to the U.S.A. from Panama every 2 years.

In school, Harvey was as close to being a model student as one could possibly imagine. He sought to achieve perfect attendance in all of his classes. He would eagerly complete his homework, and often put in extra study time when he felt it was necessary. A logical and focused thinker, Harvey was always good at following directions and meeting his schedules, whether they were set by his teachers or were self-imposed. Harvey’s personal motto could well have been, “Do it right the first time.” He graduated from Woodlawn High School in 1953. He enjoyed some courses more than others, having favorite classes and teachers. His favorite class in high school was chemistry and physics as well as the Navy ROTC.

Harvey’s practical work ethic carried over into his college years. His logical mind permitted him to work hard without succumbing to the usual distractions of college life. He would tackle an assignment and work through it before moving onto the next project. Harvey’s orderly nature gave way to establishing personal study habits and procedures that not only helped him stay on track but often put him ahead of schedule. When Harvey saw the need or benefit, he would willingly take on the extra assignment or even attend extra classes in order to learn more and become a better student. He earned his BSCE from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1957. He also pursued graduate school, earning his MS from Harvard in 1967, and his PhD. from the University of Illinois in 1976. His favorite courses were geotechnical courses. His favorite professors were Dr. Ralph Peck and Dr. D. U. Deere. He enjoyed going on geologic field trips, experimenting with steel-fiber shotcrete which became his Thesis, scuba diving in lakes and in previous coal strip mines.

Harvey was sociable and approachable. Because he was always so straightforward in how he approached relationships, friends and family knew that what they saw was always what they got. He enjoyed the camaraderie of being with a group of friends. When Harvey was a member of a group, his interaction worked to keep the others grounded. He wasn’t afraid to confront his friends and, when necessary, he challenged them to stick to the task at hand. Those close to Harvey came to expect his high standards of performance. While growing up, some of his best friends were Jimmy and Dick Shobe. Later in life, he became friends with Dick & Linda Shobe, Fan & Jim Moberg, and had many Naval friends.

An objective and conscientious individual, Harvey reveled in the security of his family. On December 15, 1962 Harvey exchanged wedding vows with Karen Lyn Matheny at The Community Church, United Church of Christ in Mill Valley, California. One of Harvey’s most endearing qualities was his uncanny ability to remember important dates and anniversaries, and his unending enthusiasm for organizing a celebration for his family and friends.

Harvey was ever watchful of his children. He worried about them and was deeply concerned for their development as they grew up. He maintained a firm hand in their upbringing. Harvey would give his stamp of approval to their requests, as long as he could see how they might benefit. He also had the ability to enforce the rules as needed to ensure that his children were properly raised. Harvey was blessed with two children, one son, Neil and one daughter, Erika. They were also blessed with four grandchildren, Ryan, Stephen, Sydney and Andrew.

Being a hard worker who praised efficiency, Harvey was always striving to make improvements where they were necessary. He was able to analyze situations and problems, keeping everything and everyone on track. An excellent project supervisor, Harvey was a person who could quickly make decisions based on the information available. He worked cooperatively and expected the same from his colleagues. In both his personal and professional environments, Harvey upheld his standards. His primary occupation was geotechnical civil engineering. He was employed for Dames & Moore (1961-1965), Parsons & Brinckerhoff (1976-1980), Shannon & Wilson (1980-1998), and as a Geotechnical consultant (1998-death). Harvey was a team player who certainly lived out the motto of “give me a job, and I will get it done.”

Harvey was a Navy Veteran. His sense of duty helped lead him into the military where his understanding of rank, his willingness to abide by rules and regulations and his desire to follow orders was admired by his fellow service men and women. In late 1957, he was assigned to USS John Willis (destroyer) then the ship deployed to the Mediterranean. Harvey had extended Navel time with shore duty in New Orleans as an Operations Officer, and tracked ships coming through the Gulf. Through his hard work and dedication, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant after Chief Engineer School and transferred to the USS Fechteler to become Chief Engineer deploying to the Far East for six months. He left the Navy in the summer of 1961.

Harvey approached his leisure time in the same manner that he approached his life. A person who enjoyed being neat and orderly and one who understood the nature of things, he appreciated the hours he was able to devote to his various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were photography, antique clock repairing, running, and Century Run (100 Miles bicycle run). Harvey was content to enjoy his favorite pastimes alone but was also willing to share his interests with others.

Playing by the rules was a natural thing for Harvey to do in life and that carried over to his enjoyment of sports. In high school, Harvey played trumpet in the H. S. band, and singing in a musical club. Recreational sports included jogging, cycling, and scuba diving. He also was something of a sports fan and enjoyed watching his favorite events whenever he got the opportunity. Tops on his list were football and baseball.

Being generous with his time and energy, Harvey liked to belong to a variety of groups and organizations. He was a vocal leader who enjoyed being a part of things. His desire to uphold traditions and his ability to take charge of any type of project made him a tremendous asset. In college he joined Phi Kappa Tau, Chi Epsilon, Scabbard & Blade, and Tau Beta Pi.

A civic-minded person, Harvey was usually ready to jump in and help with community activities. He was the type of person who could masterfully organize events and projects and then see to it that they were run in an efficient and timely manner. Harvey was a member of several community groups, including serving on committees for the Boy Scouts of America. Politically, Harvey was a Republican. During these years, Harvey applied his analytical intellect to problem solving and so was an asset on most committees.

Faith was important to Harvey. He held high moral standards and was worried about the moral decay he saw around him. For that reason he held deep spiritual beliefs that he was willing to share. He was a member of Huffman Methodist, Birmingham, Alabama and First Presbyterian Church, Bellevue, Washington. During that time, he was Deacon.

As someone who placed a high value on showing gratitude, Harvey could graciously accept a “thank you” extended to him by those he helped. However, individual recognition wasn’t a motivating force for Harvey; rather, when he saw that there was a need to get something done, he was more than willing to give his time and energy in order to see it accomplished. Some of his most prestigious awards included the 2013 Professional Engineer of the Year, the 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award: UCA of SME, and the 2019 Lifetime Achievement Award for ITA Tunneling & Space.

When it came time to travel or take a vacation, Harvey used his scheduling expertise to make sure everyone and everything was ready to go. That also meant that he made certain no single person was overworked in putting the trip together. Harvey had a knack for making sure that everyone who was involved had their specific tasks and that those tasks were completed. Favorite vacations included Panama and Alaska Cruise.

Harvey was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. One of Harvey’s favorites was Poochie (mixed breed), a pet bluebird, Squirt, and his dog Maggie. While in Panama, he played with many "wild" animals.

At the time of his death, Harvey was still working as a tunnel engineer/consultant in Los Angeles. He used his critical evaluation skills to make sure that every detail had been preplanned and attended to. His new life involved relocating to a second home in Oro Valley, Arizona. In many ways, Harvey loved retirement. It provided him with the opportunity to catch up with his friends, attend functions and group outings, and tackle new interesting activities.

Harvey passed away on May 5, 2020 at home in Clyde Hill, Washington of Ambulatory Cancer. He is survived by his children, Neil and Erika; grandchildren, Ryan, Stephen, Sydney and Andrew; half-sister, Zoni Stone and cousin, Bob, Diane, June and Donna. Harvey was laid to rest in at his home residence.

All who knew him would agree that Harvey was a pillar of the community. He lived his life with his feet firmly on the ground. He had a strong work ethic, was pragmatic in his thoughts and acts, and constantly sought the means for self-improvement. He was willing to share his ideas and knowledge for the benefit of others, so that they could accomplish more in their lives. Dr. Harvey Weston Parker did his best to ensure that his family, friends, loved ones, co-workers, and everyone whose life he touched was given the chance to become a better person.