James R. "Jim" Parker

James R. "Jim" Parker 4/5/1947 - 9/25/2012 ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease) has claimed yet another remarkable and heroic man. Jim was diagnosed with ALS in November 2007. Born April 5, 1947 in Pocatello, Idaho, Jim grew up in Long Beach, CA. He spent his teenaged summers as a wrangler in Wyoming. He arrived in Tucson in 1966 as an Air Force cadet stationed at DMAFB. Subsequently he served in Viet Nam, 1965-1968, as a jet engine mechanic (MOS). He also flew Huey's and earned two Bronze Stars for his heroism. Upon his return to Tucson, he eventually became a Tucson Fire Fighter (1979), rising to the rank of Battalion Chief before retiring in 1991. Jim earned a B.S.B.A. from the University of Phoenix and a private pilot-IFR license. He was also a real estate agent and mortgage broker. His community involvement covered the Tucson Parks Foundation (LPGA), Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowling volunteer, Handicapped Olympics (1986-1991) and Hospice reading 1992-2002. Jim loved to travel and he and his wife of 21 years, Deborah, traveled extensively, all the way from the Artic to the Antarctic and many locations in between. Jim was an avid golfer (hole-in-one), bowler and generous to his friends in the form of support and stability. He loved to laugh and that was his way to fight the disease. A Celebration of Jim's life will be held at SHOOTER'S Steakhouse, 3115 E. Prince Rd., Friday, October 12, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. Color Guard at 4:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution to the ALS Association, in Jim's name. The Arizona Chapter's address: 4643 E. Thomas Rd., Suite 1, Phoenix, AZ 85018. Arrangements by BRING'S BROADWAY CHAPEL, bringfuneralhome.com.

Published in the Arizona Daily Star on Oct. 7, 2012