Roy Edward "Chick" Parker, Jr. died Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at the age of 73. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Merrie Lynn Wang Parker EdD, his son, Roy Arron Parker DMD and daughter-in-law, Jennifer Kinder Parker of Bradenton, his daughter, Libbie Parker McKenzie MD and son-in-law, Alexander Ross McKenzie of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and his sister-in-law, Laurita Parker of Shelbyville, Tennessee. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, George David Donahue, Emma Louise Parker, Andrew Michael Donahue, and Roy Ethan Parker, as well as a grandchild soon to be born, Hunter Matthew Parker, all of Bradenton, and William Parker Briley, Andrew Ernest Briley, and Zachary Shepherd McKenzie of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Robert Henry Parker, and his parents Roy Edward Parker, Sr. and Rubye Pearl Shepherd Parker. Chick was born on September 24, 1942 and was a third generation native of Bradenton, Florida. He was an avid outdoorsman, a passionate conservationist, and a generous friend. He attended Ballard Elementary, Walker Junior High, and Manatee High School, where he was a stand out on the football and baseball teams and graduated in 1960. He graduated with a degree in Marketing and Journalism from the University of Florida in 1967. Chick continually refined his outdoorsman skills, spending his free time on the Gulf waters and in the inland hammocks and scrub of Manatee County, as well as on several Rocky Mountain and Texas hunting trips. Chick became well known for his uncanny ability to read the patterns of nature which made him an incredibly successful hunter and fisherman and supplied his family and friends with bountiful local seafood and game. The friendships he forged on the water and in the woods have lasted his lifetime and provided riches beyond measure. After college he worked with his father at Gulf Refrigeration. He moved on to write an outdoors column, "Fish Tales" for the Island Herald. He managed the concession on the Anna Maria City Pier in the late 1970's before working full time to build his family's home in partnership with his father-in-law in the early 1980's. He built bait and cast nets, sold outdoor sporting good equipment, and supported Merrie Lynn's career by providing care for their children, including coaching many of their sports teams. Chick volunteered extensively through the Manatee Fish and Game Association, helping to ensure local efforts to conserve and protect wildlife habitat. In 1990, the Bradenton Herald presented Chick with the Outdoor Sportsman of the Year award. He served on both the Environmental Lands Management and Acquisition Committee and the Wildlife Advisory Board, and was a major contributor to the land-use management plans for Emerson Point and Duette Preserve. In 1994, he was recognized as an outstanding volunteer when the Manatee County Commission proclaimed a "Chick Parker Day" for his contributions. He advocated tirelessly for the appropriate use of the Duette Preserve for hunting to maintain healthy game populations and was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association. To cap a lifetime of experience in the outdoors, in 2012 he completed all three ecosystem modules of the University of Florida Master Naturalist Program. Chick relished time spent with his family, retelling tall tales from the water and woods with dear friends, supporting the development of his children's careers, and becoming a beloved grandfather. He will be sorely missed and remembered with much fondness. Given Chick's passion for the outdoors, in lieu of flowers, his family requests donations to the Manatee Fish and Game Association (PO Box 9164, Bradenton, FL 34206), for their continuing support of Duette Preserve. Visitation fellowship from 2:00-3:00 pm and remembrances and tributes from 3:00-4:00pm on Saturday, February 13, 2016 at Griffith-Cline Funeral Home. www.GriffithCline.com
Griffith Cline Funeral Home
720 Manatee Ave. W.
Bradenton, FL 34205
Published in The Bradenton Herald on Feb. 12, 2016