EAST FALMOUTH, Mass. - Bruce Gordon Parker, AKA "Ace of Hearts," died peacefully on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at his home in East Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Bruce was born on November 19, 1924, in the hamlet of Roslyn Heights, Long Island to Mary Helen Van Benthysen and Earl Nelson Parker.
At ten years old, Bruce moved with his family to Seattle, Washington where, despite his youth, he single-handedly salvaged a sunken boat. After refurbishing the wreck, Bruce delightedly sailed his boat for four years, and began a life long passion for sailing. [He loved it...]
When Bruce was sixteen, he and his family moved back east to Pelham, New York. An accomplished athlete, Ace of Hearts was captain of the high school track team. After his graduation, he entered Penn State University. When the Second World War broke out, Bruce left school to serve in the Army. During his tours of duty, he fought in New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and the Philippines, where he was wounded in battle. Bruce was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star medal. After the war, he returned to Penn State where he continued to excel in his studies and in track and field. He graduated with honors in 1949 with a degree in engineering.
Then came Bruce's biggest game changer... While on a double blind date, Bruce met the love of his life, Martha Goodwin. (Only Martha was his friend's date.) Undeterred, Bruce returned home that evening and proclaimed to his mother that he had just met his future wife. Eight months later, Bruce and Martha were married. Soon after that Bruce accepted an engineering position at IBM, where he worked for 37 years.
In 1951, Bruce and Martha welcomed their first born child, Susan, into the world. The following year their first son, Bruce Robert, was born. And the sons and daughters kept coming: next up was Paul, followed by Mark, Betsy, Stephen, and finally Chris in 1963. [He loved them...]
In 1963, the Parker family moved to Stamford, Connecticut, where they lived for 26 years. During that time, Bruce bought a sunfish sailboat and resumed his childhood passion for sailing. Every Sunday morning he would drive to Long Island Sound and race with his fellow sailors. [He loved it...]
In 1989, Bruce retired from IBM, and he and Martha moved to New Bern, North Carolina. There he upgraded from a 12-foot Sunfish to a 40-foot sailboat, The Aquavesence. Bruce, Martha, their sons, daughters, and close friends sailed on the Intercoastal Waterway, and took numerous, adventurous (and, let's be honest, sometimes calamitous) sailing trips to such places as St. Thomas, British Virgin Islands, and the Bahamas. [All the while he loved it...]
Bruce also renewed his passion for tennis while in New Bern and was an active member of the Harbortown Racquet Club, with friends he loved.
Bruce is survived by his cherished sister, Joyce, his beloved wife of sixty-three incredible years, Martha (Meg), and his seven children and their families, including fourteen grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Thank you, Bruce/Dad, our Ace of Hearts. You did so-soooooo well, and we all love you very much.
At Bruce's request, funeral services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Bruce's name to Hope Hospice, 765 Attucks Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601-1867.
For online obituary, directions, and guestbook, please visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com.
To sign our guestbook, go to newbernsj.com.