Parker L. "Rocket" Rakocy (1943 - 2013)

9 entries | 1 photo
  • "Rosemarie, I was trying to find you and found Parker's..."
    - Beth Schafer
  • "I miss you lots Dad. Fly High and touch the sky!"
    - Parklyn Rakocy-Sheckart
  • "So sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and..."
  • "Rosie and Family: Please accept our heartfelt condolences..."
    - Tony and Phyllis Drago
  • "Rocket you have left us way to early. I think the Lord..."
    - Eunice Luke Matson
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Parker L. "Rocket" Rakocy, Captain, U.S. Air Force, Ret., 69, of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., went to the loving arms of his Maker on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, after a courageous battle against pancreatic cancer. His wife and family was by his side.

Parker was born Nov. 11, 1943, to Grover C. and Sylvia E. Sheckart in Hershey, Pa. His father, Grover, and stepfather, Mr. Albert A. Rakocy, preceded him in death.

At 17, Parker graduated from Chamberlain High School in Tampa, Fla., and enlisted in the Air Force. On his 18th birthday he married his greatest gift, Rose Marie "Rosie" Whitaker. Parker attended college in the evenings and as part of the "Airmen's Education and Commissioning Program," he earned a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University, was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in March 1969 and went on to earn a master's degree in Engineering Science from the University of Michigan. He became a Navigator and Weapons Systems Officer in F-4 Phantoms. Assignments took them to Orlando, Fla., Del Rio, Texas, Sacramento, Calif., Homestead, Fla., Clark AB, Republic of the Philippines (twice), Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (their future home) and Valdosta, Ga.

Rosie and "Rocket" had two children, "naturals": Parklyn Marie and Jason Grover, prior to going to the Philippines. They adopted Elisalynn Anica during the first tour and Rosalyn Theresa and the twins, Thomas Mark and Timothy Paul on the second tour. As Rosie promised: "Never a dull moment."

"Rocket" spent 22 years on active duty and then spent 23 years as an aircraft/missile analyst with the Air-to-Air Missile Test Flight at Eglin AFB, Fla. He worked mainly on the interface between the Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and the F-15 and F-16 aircraft. He also worked on various other air-to-air missiles. He finally retired in December 2007.

"Rocket" enjoyed anything to do with aviation, reading historical non-fiction and attending the Center for Life-Long Learning. He truly enjoyed being with his children and his grandchildren!

Parker is survived by his loving wife of almost 52 years, Rose Marie "Rosie" Rakocy; his mother, Sylvia E. Olivero; brother, Lewis (Ann) Rakocy; his sisters, Virginia (Dennis) Southard and Alida (John) O'Donovan; and his children: Parklyn Rakocy-Sheckart, Jason (Marlo) Rakocy, Elisalynn (David) Brown, Rosalyn (Jason) Frazee, Thomas (Tammy) Rakocy and Timothy Rakocy. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Andrew, Ryan, Alexander and Gavin Rakocy; Brenden Fleischman; Joshua, Taylor and Allison Brown and Christian and Sebastian Frazee.

Parker and the family would like to thank all the medical professionals for their efforts and care. A special thank you to all those whose thoughts, prayers and actions sustained and comforted us through this difficult time.

A viewing will be held at Emerald Coast Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. Funeral services will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church Niceville, Fla., on Tuesday Oct. 22, 2013, at 9 a.m. with Fr. James Hamel as celebrant. A reception will follow at the church. Burial will be at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla., on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at 9:30 a.m.

In Lieu of flowers, Parker and the family asked that all donations be made to: Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida, 1000 W. Garden St., Pensacola, FL 32502 or Silver Sands School, 349 Holmes Blvd. N.W., Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548-4150, phone (850) 833-3364.

To share memories, express condolences and sign the guest book, please visit the Emerald Coast Funeral Home website at:

Funeral Home
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
161 Racetrack Rd NW
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 864-3361
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Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News from Oct. 21 to Oct. 22, 2013
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Fort Walton Beach, FL   (850) 864-3361
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