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Thomas Gordon Parker

Obituary Condolences

Thomas Gordon Parker Thomas Gordon Parker of Taylor, Texas passed away on September 24th. Tom was born on January 2, 1930 on a farm near Brookhaven, Texas (now Fort Hood) to parents Carlos George and Rose Parker and spent his formative years in Belton, Texas with his parents and younger brother Dale. As a student at Belton High School he was class president for each of his four years, president of the BHS chapter of the National Honor Society, a multi-sport athlete, captain of the Belton Tiger football team of 1946, male lead in the school plays for both junior and senior years, delegate to Boys' State from American Legion Post No. 55, attained the rank of Eagle Scout and named Outstanding Boy by the faculty for the class of 1947. He graduated from Baylor University in 1951 with a Bachelor in Business Administration, was active in student life, freshman football, and was elected Permanent Class President by his peers. He remained an ardent supporter of Baylor University his entire life, grateful for the influence of the school on his life and his family. In 1965, he graduated from The Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University. He aggressively promoted and supported education his entire life. During the summer of 1949, he was offered an internship with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and began a career in the banking industry that spanned more than 40 years. At the beginning of that career he continued to live in Texas as an Assistant National Bank Examiner and at the invitation of friends met Baylor student and Lariat editor Gwyna Lee Smith of Munday, Texas on a blind date. Upon her graduation in 1953, they married and moved to Taylor, Texas where Tom began a career with the then First Taylor National Bank in 1954. Tom and Gwyna began a family that would include children Martha, Steve, and Tommy. His deep love for his family, his community, and the wildlife and geology of Texas created a stage for many fond memories of travel and adventure. During the last decade of his life he visited Spain, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and the Cayman Islands with family and friends. At 75 years of age he knew no fear of scuba diving, rafting, rope swings, or tree canopies. For many years Parker served as chairman of the First Taylor National Bank as well as of the board of the then Thorndale State Bank. He served as a Director of the Texas Independent Bank of Dallas and the Council of the Community Bankers Division of the Texas Bankers' Association. In 1982, Parker was named to the board of Directors of Texas Power and Light Company. He served on the board of the then Taylor Industrial Development Corporation as well as the Board of the then Williamson County Industrial Development Council, a Director of the Brushy Creek Water Control and Improvement District No. 1 of Williamson and Milam Counties, and for more than 30 years as a member of the board of the Johns Community Hospital. He served as President of the Taylor Chamber of Commerce, the Taylor Lions Club, the Taylor United Fund, and the Friends of the Taylor Public Library. He was active in Troop 161 of the Boys Scouts and sponsored scouting activities as a community leader. He served in multiple leadership positions of the First Baptist Church of Taylor as well as the Board of the Texas Baptist Children's Home, and the Board of the Temple College at Taylor. In 1999, the Taylor Chamber of Commerce named him "Taylor's Citizen of the Year". He was a member of the Taylor community for 57 years and was particularly proud of his tenure with the Taylor Economic Development Council. Tom Parker leaves a large family to cherish his memory. He wanted the description of his legacy to read: "Parker Guttersen, Chandler Guttersen, Miles Parker, Stiles Parker, Chris Parker, Jon Parker, and Andrew Parker". Anyone who knew him appreciated his love for life, for his community, for his friends, and his family. We miss him already. Much gratitude and appreciation is directed to the staff of Querencia Barton Creek for their care of Tom after his strokes in June and November of 2010. Tom is survived by son Steve Parker and sons Miles and Stiles Parker of College Station, Texas; daughter Martha and husband Wilson Franklin and Parker and Chandler Guttersen; Tom and Teddy Parker, Austin, Texas; Jonathan and Jaime Parker of Austin, Texas; Andrew Parker of Santiago, Chile; brother Dale and Marilyn Parker of Austin, Texas; and many extended family members and friends. He was particularly grateful for the vacations to Costa Rica and the Cayman Islands with Andrew, Joe, Nick, and Sam Turner during the last five years of his life. Memorial Services are scheduled for Sunday, October 2, 2011 at the First Baptist Church of Taylor at 2 pm. The family requests that all memorial gifts be directed to the First Baptist Church, General Fund, 701 Davis Street, Taylor, Texas, 76574; Baylor University, Waco, Texas, 76798; or Friends of the Taylor Public Library, Taylor, Texas, 76574.
Published in Austin American-Statesman on Oct. 1, 2011
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