Arthur H. Parker, 87, of Stafford Dr., Black River, passed away Wednesday August 21 at Samaritan Medical Center.
He was born November 25, 1925 in Watertown the son of Arthur H. Sr. and Rose Bush Parker. He graduated from Watertown Schools and served in the US Army Air core for 2 years as an aerial gunner in B-24 liberators during World War 2 in the _European Theater.
He married Theresa B. Burgen May 23, 1945. Mrs. Parker passed away June 21, 2002.
Mr. Parker owned and operated Quality Brands Wholesale Foods for over 50 years.
In his retirement years he also owned and operated NTS Auto on State Street. Throughout his years, Mr. Parker very much enjoyed many aspects of life, for all who knew him; he was an avid NASCAR fan and would attend many races throughout the country and host Daytona 500 parties at his house. Art was also involved with the Watertown Red and Black football team for many years, heading fundraising for the team which helped them be a success. Art was an avid bowler and played in the Watertown Business Bowling League and the Michigan Medics League, in which he was a top bowler. Mr. Parker always loved listening to Big Band Music and was a clarinet player in the Watertown Civic Band. He learned to play clarinet at the Childrens Home where he was raised. Playing the clarinet lead him to the opening ceremony of the 1000 Islands Bridge in which President Roosevelt also attended. Art had a respect for the Childrens home as an adult and helped organize the alumni association in order to raise funds to build onto the facility for the children. He believed in giving back to a place that had given him a family and many lifelong friends. Though he loved giving back to the community and being involved in extracurricular activities nothing was held closer to his heart than his family. He enjoyed family functions especially Christmas. Always saying Christmas is about the kids. His family included many pets over the years; he had a never ending care for animals, especially his dog Broadie and cat Pumpkin.
He is survived by three sons and their wives, Arthur H.III and Jacqueline Parker, Dexter, Joseph and Brenda Parker, Watertown, and Dennis and Julie Parker, Clayton; a daughter and her husband, Priscilla and James Lewis, Carthage, NY; 7 grandchildren; Gerard DeRouchie, Jr. and his companion Kim Malette, April and Robert Fiorentino, Brian and Eliza Parker, Craig Parker, Dennis and Christie Parker, Seth Parker, and Angela Parker. 8 great-grandchildren, Zander, Jesse, and Jaron Griffin, Avah and Sophia Fiorentino, Macie Parker, Daxton and Jace Parker, and several nieces and nephews.
Three brothers, Earl, Alfred and Francis all died before him.
The family would like to thank all of his care-givers over the last several months; we could not have gone through this time without your caring and thoughtfulness.
A Funeral service will be held 11:00 AM, Saturday, August 24, at the Cleveland Funeral Home, Watertown, NY, with burial following in Black River Cemetery.
Calling hours will be 2-4 and 7-9 Friday, August 23 at the Cleveland Funeral Home, Watertown.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The Childrens Home of Jefferson County.
Online condolences can be made at www.clevelandfuneralhomeinc.com.