Charles Ward Parker M.D.

Parker, Charles Ward, MD Charles was born on March 23, 1930 and married Mary Christine Langston on June 13, 1953. He died in his home in Webster Groves on April 23, 2013 of pancreatic cancer at age 83. He is predeceased by his son Keith L. Parker and is survived by his wife of 59 years, Mary Langston Parker, his brother Brent M. Parker, his daughters Christina M. Parker, Katherine Parker Ponder and Sandra Parker Bigg, his son Charles S. Parker, and 15 grandchildren. Charles graduated from Webster Groves High School in 1947. He attended Washington University in St. Louis for both undergraduate and medical studies, graduating from the medical school in 1953. He performed military service in the U. S. Navy on the Pacific island of Saipan from 1954 to 1956. He was a resident in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital, and was on the faculty at Washington University School of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Immunology for 4 decades. He made many important scientific and clinical contributions during his career, and was pivotal in the development of tests to determine if a patient has a penicillin allergy. He also developed test tube assays to measure substances that are important in asthma and other disorders, as well as a test to determine if a patient has had a heart attack. He contributed to determining the structure of a type of leukotriene previously known as slowreacting substance of anaphylaxis (SRS-A), which led to the development of drugs to treat asthma. A more detailed account of his scientific achievements can be found in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch from April 25 and the Washington University Record from April 29. Charles read widely about many subjects, but particularly enjoyed history, with a focus on World War II. He was an avid bridge player, achieving a rank of Life Master while playing with his daughter Sandy Bigg, and was known for erratic bidding that was often compensated for by his brilliant play of the cards. Charles spent time most summers in Manitou Springs Colorado, where he was an enthusiastic hiker. He was a man of integrity who always spoke his mind. Hard working and tenacious, Charles was always full of new ideas. While he had numerous scientific achievements, his family was the center of his life. Services: A memorial service will be held at 3 PM on Sunday May 19 at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves on 10 W. Lockwood Avenue Webster Groves MO 63119, which will be followed by a reception. Contributions can be sent to the Charles W. Parker Memorial Fund at the Division of Allergy & Immunology C/O Jill Munoz, 660 S. Euclid Avenue, Box 8122 St. Louis, MO 63116 or to the Webster Groves Public Library in Memory of Charles W. Parker, 301 E. Lockwood Avenue Webster Groves MO 63119-3102. Memories and condolences may be left at

Funeral Home

Gerber Chapel
23 W Lockwood Ave Webster Groves, MO 63119
(314) 968-2000

Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on May 1, 2013