SOUTHPORT — Ralph Harrison Parker Sr., 76, passed away Sunday, April 9, 2017, at SECU Hospice in Bolivia.
Mr. Parker was born in Southport on May 14, 1940, son of the late Harry Raphael Parker and Evelyn Hankins Parker. He graduated from Brunswick County Training School and received his bachelors degree from North Carolina A&T State University with honors.
While at North Carolina A&T, Mr. Parker became a member of the national fraternity Omega Psi Phi. After graduating, he moved back to Brunswick County to teach history and band for many years.
Mr. Parker received his master’s degree from North Carolina State University. Mr. Parker started working at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in various capacities such as assistant director of Admissions, dean of students, dean of Admissions, and director of the Office of Minority Affairs. It is at UNCW that his memory will live on through a scholarship named in his honor.
Mr. Parker retired from UNCW in 1996 after 36 years of service to the State of North Carolina. He continued to work as a consultant with the university as well as served as an assessment counselor at Mt. Olive College. He received many honors for his service in numerous civic and professional organizations. He was active in the Southport community serving on the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee and was a member of First Baptist Church. Mr. Parker spent many hours in his woodworking shop. That hobby eventually evolved into a business named The Good Wood Shop.
Survivors include his wife, Ivory Shird Parker of Southport; daughter, Dionne DeBerry, and her husband, Jonathan, of Leland; son, Ralph Parker Jr., and his wife, Tracy, of Nolensville, Tenn.; sister, Evelyn Amelia Patterson of Southport; and five grandchildren, Jathan DeBerry, Ralph Parker III, Bryce DeBerry, Zia DeBerry and Nick Parker.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 13, at Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service in Southport. A graveside service will be held at noon Friday, April 14, at John N. Smith Cemetery with the Rev. Brian Monroe officiating.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Southport Oak Island Interchurch Fellowship, 205 E. Moore St., Southport, N.C. 28461.
Online condolences may be made at peacocknewnamwhite.com.