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Jack Steele Parker, July 6, 1918 - May 19, 2013, retired vice chairman and executive officer of General Electric Company (1968-1980) died at his home in Carefree, Arizona, May 19, 2013. Born in Palo Alto, California July 6, 1918, he received his BSME from Stanford University in 1939. In 1970 he received an Honorary Doctor of Business Administration from Southeastern Massachusetts University, and an Honorary Doctor of Law from Clark University in 1972 and from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1986. Mr. Parker started his career in 1939 in the ship building industry and during World War II was in charge of constructing 37 Liberty Ships. He joined General Electric in 1950 where his first assignment was in Richland, Washington, as manager of the Separations Division. He later moved to the Aircraft Propulsion Division in Cincinnati. In 1956, he became vice president, followed by his election as director, vice chairman, and executive officer of the company in 1968. He has served as a director of many other corporations, including J.G. Boswell, BHP - Utah Minerals International, The Continental Group, Pan American World Airways, Santa Fe Southern Pacific Corporation, Sturm-Ruger & Company, TRW, Inc., UNIVEX and Whitehall Corporation. Mr. Parker is a member of the National Academy of Engineering (Einstein Award recipient), the President's Circle of the National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is a distinguished Overseer and past chairman of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace having served as an Overseer over 40 years; Trustee Emeritus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; past chairman & Counselor for Life of the Conference Board; Life Trustee of the Heard Museum; Life Member, Past President & Sagamore Hill Award recipient of the Boone & Crockett Club; Life Member, Past President & Big Horse recipient of Conquistadors del Cielo; Old Guard member of The Bohemian Club; Chairman Emeritus - Aircraft Industries Association and of the Wildlife Management Institute; Life Member - Audubon Society, The Question Club and Trout Unlimited. He is a member of Beta Theta Pi, Lamba Sigma Chapter; Circumnavigators Club; Commercial Club and Commonwealth Club of Cincinnati; Council of Financial Aid to Education and the Camp Fire Club of America. He is a former Director of the Smithsonian Institution, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Enterprise Institute. He was a Trustee of St. Louis University and a distinguished achievement award recipient of the Wings Club. Throughout his life Jack Parker was an avid sportsman. He was an excellent shot having taken all five of the major African animals and on one occasion shot 299 straight clays in trap competition. He shot all the major North American mammals except a polar bear. His hunting included a tiger in India and ibex & Argali sheep in western Mongolia. For the last 30 years he shot grouse and pheasant in southern Scotland and northern England as well as ducks and pheasant at Clove Valley Rod and Gun Club where he has been a member for 53 years. His bird shooting also included trips to Spain and Argentina. He is an Endowment member of the National Rifle Association. Fishing was another sport Jack loved, especially fly fishing for Atlantic salmon on the Panoi River in northern Russia and the Moisie, the Restigouche and the Miramichi in Canada; as well as trout in Alaska and bonefish, permit and tarpon on the east coast of Mexico. He was also a great golfer having been a member of Augusta National Golf Club for some 50 years. On one occasion at Augusta he eagled the par five 13th twice in one day - the first time from the Members' tee and the second time from the Professional tee. He is also a member of the Blind Brook Club, Desert Forest Golf Club and the U.S. Seniors Golf Association. Elaine, his wife and 'Light of His Life' for over 60 years joined Jack on many of his safaris in Africa, fishing in Alaska and bird shooting at Clove Valley Rod and Gun Club. She predeceased him in 2005 and he is survived by their daughter, Kaaren Parker Gray of New York City and Connecticut. As Jack S. Parker was prone to say, "I think we have done everything we came here to do."
Published in GreenwichTime on June 14, 2013