Richard Parker: Obituary


Richard Parker, 93, a lifelong resident of Andrews passed away Thursday, February 27, 2020 at Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga.

Richard was the son of the late Murray Parker and Ina Mae Thompson Parker Queen. He was also preceded in death by his brothers, Vincent, John C., and Billy Joe; and sister, Emma Jean Parker Voiles.

He is survived by his wife, Iris Mehaffey Parker; step-daughter, Leslie Rothenberger and husband, Peter of Hickory, North Carolina; a granddaughter, Kinsey Rothenberger; and a friend who was like a son, Gayland Trull. Survivors also include several nieces and nephews.

Richard was a veteran of the United States Navy, serving in both World War II and the Korean Conflict.

Richard’s life was one of fun, food, and adventure. While he cared for many things, his great love was the Andrews-Murphy Airport and flying. Richard’s name is synonymous with the airport. He has been associated with this facility for seventy years and in many capacities. He has watched it grow from a grass field in the Wood Farm to a first-rate airport, of which he was very proud. Richard flew for the Phillips & Jordan Company until they moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. His great love for this airport and his home here in this beloved valley kept him here in the role of airport manager. Richard’s efforts to improve and ensure the growth gave him statewide recognition in the aviation field. In November 2010, he was presented the Appreciation of Service Award by the state Division of Aviation.

Also in recognition of his years of service in 2017, he was honored by having the terminal building named The Richard Parker Terminal. At this dedication, he was also presented with a WWII-era set of Army Air Corps silver wings and one of General Devereaux general’s star.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, March 1, 2020 in the chapel of Ivie Funeral Home, Andrews with military honors provided by Murphy American Legion Post 96, Hayesville VFW Post 6812, and Hayesville American Legion Post 532 and with Revs. Dana Dockery and Jack Hollowell officiating. Pallbearers will be Sam Davis, Chuck Grant, Charles West, John Payne, Joe Gibson, and Fred Payne. Marion Jones will serve as honorary pallbearer.

The family will receive friends from 1:00 until 2:45 p.m. Sunday, March 1, 2020 at the Ivie Funeral Home, Andrews.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made in memory of Richard Parker to the Western Carolina Youth Aviation Foundation at WCYAF, PO Box 1399, Hayesville, NC 28904.

Ivie Funeral Home, Andrews in charge of all arrangements.

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