Clarence S. Parker, Col. USAF (Ret.), 96, of Valdosta, died suddenly, on Saturday, March 25, 2017. Col. Parker was born in Houston, Texas on October 7, 1920, a son of the late Jessie Shaffer and Clarence Lyndon Parker. Growing up in Houston in the 1930's, he graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School. While attending college, he began working in the Texas oil industry in drilling and production and he took private flying lessons in a Piper Cub.
Colonel Parker's military career began forty-eight hours after the bombing of Pearl Harbor when he was accepted into the Army Air Corps. He served in numerous command and staff assignments in Europe, including the Berlin Airlift in 1948-1949, North Africa, Southeast Asia and various Air Bases in the United States. His duty included two assignments in Air Force Headquarters in Washington, DC, one year in Vietnam in the Operations Staff of General Westmoreland's Headquarters and as Wing Commander of Moody AFB from April 1968-January 1971. He received many military decorations over the years including the Legion of Merit and the British OBE. Moody Air Force Base was Colonel Parker's final military assignment.
Colonel Parker continued his education throughout the years, receiving his Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Maryland, his Master of Business Administration from George Washington University and completed graduate work in Management, Economics, Accounting, Federal State and Local Taxes, Banking-Law and Money and Banking at various institutions. After his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 1971, he began a career in banking. He was associated with Phipps-Harrington Corporation, Rockland Resources, Inc., First National Bank and Regions Bank. Parker served as Chairman of the Valdosta Lowndes County Airport Authority from 1987 until 2004 and he was a Partner with Northwood Development. His hobbies were golf, travel, and flying. He flew planes for 70 years and as a pilot his total flying time was over 7, 500 hours and he was also awarded the FAA Master Pilot Award.
He was a member of the Valdosta Country Club, First Presbyterian Church and Trinity Presbyterian Church, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Air Force Association, The Kiwanis Club, The Order of Daedalians, the Valdosta Lowndes County Chamber of Commerce, and the Executive Board of the South Georgia Council, Boy Scouts of America and recipient of the Silver Beaver Award. In 2014 Colonel Parker was awarded the Distinguished Citizen award by The Boy Scouts of America South Georgia Council.
Survivors include his wife of 74 years, Dorothy Lee Sanderson Parker of Valdosta; a son and daughter in law, Dr. Dale L. & Alice S. Allbritton of Houston, TX, and daughter and son-in-law Judith L. & Kenneth R. Elias of Madison, Virginia. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Thommy Robinson, Eric Robinson both of Dallas, Texas and April Leigh Allbritton of Houston, Texas; and a sister, Patsy Ann Coulter of Houston, Texas. He is preceded in death by a daughter, Celeste P. Robinson and a brother, Jack Lyndon Parker.
The funeral for Col. Parker will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017 in the chapel of Carson McLane Funeral Home. Rev. Anghaarad Teague Dees will officiate. Burial will follow at a later time at Forrest Park Cemetery in Houston, TX. The family will receive friends at a reception at Park Place by McLane following the service on Friday from 5 until 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Boy Scouts of America, South Georgia Area. Condolences may be conveyed to the family on the obituary page of www.mclanecares.com Carson McLane Funeral Home.