February 12, 1930 - April 3, 2013
Joseph Roy Parker Jr. of Fayetteville died Wednesday, April 3 at his home. He was 83. Funeral services will be held Monday, April 8 at 2 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville officiated by the Rev. Ray Brown. Visitation will be Sunday, April 7, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the church. He is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Marie Smithwick Parker, of the home; sons Joseph Roy “Jody” Parker III and wife, Ann, of Cornelius, N.C., and Scott Smithwick Parker and wife, Liliana Collazos Parker, of Gray’s Creek, N.C.; daughter, Marie Ann Parker and partner, Angelo Joaquin, of Tucson, Ariz.; grandchildren Joey Parker, Emily Parker and Ryan Parker of Charlotte, N.C.; brothers- in-law Jim Smithwick and wife, Louise, of Irmo, S.C., Walter Smithwick of Florence, S.C., and Al McKay of Indiana; sisters-in-law Kathleen Smithwick of Raleigh, N.C., and Jane Shohan and husband Herschel of Amherst, Mass.; and numerous nieces and nephews. Mr. Parker was born Feb. 12, 1930 in Hertford County, N.C., the son of the late Joseph Roy Parker Sr. and Louise Buffalo Parker. Mr. Parker’s father and uncle J. Mayon Parker owned Parker Brothers Printing Co. in Ahoskie, and Mr. Parker grew up helping with the family’s weekly newspapers in Hertford, Northampton, Bertie and Gates counties. He served as editor of The Daily Tar Heel at the University of North Carolina, where he graduated in 1952 with a degree in journalism. His first job was as editor of The Hertford County Herald. He later went to work for The News and Observer in Raleigh, covering the General Assembly. Mr. Parker was the chief Capitol correspondent for the N&O in Washington. He worked for the gubernatorial campaign for the late Hargrove "Skipper" Bowles. Mr. Parker was the founding editor of The Fayetteville Times and later was an editorial writer and columnist for The Fayetteville Observer-Times and The Fayetteville Observer. He was a longtime member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, where he served as a lay reader. Mr. Parker was the recipient of numerous honors including the North Carolina Award; induction into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame; honorary doctorate in letters from Methodist University; Department of the Army Certificate of Appreciation for Patriotic Civilian Service; UNC Distinguished Alumnus Award; and fellowship in the National Endowment for the Humanities at Harvard University. Mr. Parker devoted his time to many organizations dedicated to history and the arts, including the N.C. Literary and Historical Society, the Paul Green Foundation, the N.C. Writers Conference and Hope Plantation. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Airborne & Special Operations Museum, 100 Bragg Blvd, Fayetteville, NC 28301. A state and national treasure for his devotion to history, his community, the arts and wise, democratic governance, he was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather and had many dear friends from all walks of life. It was indeed a good run, Roy, and we will all miss you greatly with much love and many fond memories.
Joseph Roy Parker Jr. of Fayetteville died Wednesday, April 3 at his home. He was 83. Funeral services will be held Monday, April 8 at 2 p.m. at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville officiated by the Rev. Ray Brown. Visitation will... View Obituary & Service Information
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