Joseph R. Parker (1916 - 2014)

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  • "Dear John, Kate, Emmi and Katie, We were so sorry to hear..."
  • "Dear Kate and family, May your memories of this wonderful..."
  • "My condolences to you and your family John. Sending wishes..."
    - Claude Conner
  • "My sincere condolences to the family. I knew Joe during my..."
    - Harry Williams
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Joseph R. Parker passed away on May 6, age 97. Joe was born in Grand Island, Neb., on May 8, 1916, to parents William Henry Parker and Pearl Parkins Parker. In 1942, Joe graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska with a degree in Electrical Engineering, a member of Pi Mu Epsilon, the honorary national mathematics society, and Sigma Tau, the engineering honor society. In 1952 Joe earned the Master of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania.

Joe and the late Mary "Molly" Parker (nee Webster) were married in 1948 in the First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield where they met in the church choir. The couple had 4 children together. Joe worked for RCA in Camden from 1942 until 1963 when he accepted a job with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico where he worked until 1994. Joe quickly fell in love with the Los Alamos area where he enjoyed skiing and hiking the canyons and mountains near their home. Joe and son John together built a cabin in the Jemez Mountains which became a favorite family getaway. In 1999, Joe and Molly moved back to Cherry Hill to be with their beloved First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield family and extended family and friends. Joe was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and in 2009, the couple moved to a retirement home in Evanston, Ill., to be near their daughter Kate and family.

Joe was passionately interested in the sciences and loved to share his enthusiasm. An active member of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., Joe was awarded the IEEE Third Millennium Medal in 2000 "for outstanding achievements and contributions." He was a founding member of the Pajarito Astronomers. He was a man of great curiosity and broad interests and with his wife Molly traveled to more than twenty foreign countries and many of our national parks and monuments. An avid photographer, he documented their family life, trips, and nature.

Joe and Molly were founding members of the White Rock Presbyterian Church of Los Alamos. Over 3 decades he faithfully served the White Rock church in many roles, frequently as deacon or elder. Joe loved to sing and served as a choir member in Presbyterian churches for fifty years. He pursued his interest in music as a member of the Los Alamos Choral Society and later the Santa Fe Harmonizers, a men's a cappella group.

Pre-deceased by his daughter Mary Stuart Parker in 1990 and his brother Timothy I. Parker in 1963. He is survived by his daughter Kate Lynn Parker and husband John Schneider of Evanston, IL; his son John Webster Parker and wife Laurie of Santa Fe, NM; his son Eric William Parker of Albuquerque, NM; and 4 granddaughters, Kate and Emilia Schneider, and Jessica and Ayla Parker.

Mr. Parker's family will receive friends on May 22 from 9:30-10:45 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Haddonfield, 20 E. Kings Hwy., Haddonfield, N.J. 08033; where his Memorial Service will follow at 11 a.m. Interment, private. Contributions may be made in his memory to the Church. Arrangements by Kain-Murphy Funeral Services of Haddonfield, N.J.
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Kain-Murphy Funeral Services
15 West End Avenue
Haddonfield, NJ 08033
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Published in Los Alamos Monitor on May 13, 2014