Mr. Matthew James Parker, 53, beloved husband of 23 years of Shawntel Parker, entered into rest on Friday, March 17, 2017 at his residence.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, March 24, 2017 at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Dr. Matt Rich officiating.
Matt was born in East Cleveland, Ohio and grew up fascinated by the unique weather phenomena that result from living on the shores of Lake Erie. By age eleven the "weather gene", as he called it, had been planted and he knew he wanted to become a meteorologist. After relocating to Charlotte, NC with his family he attended North Carolina State University (NCSU), completing both his bachelor's and master's degrees before beginning his position as a meteorologist at the Savannah River National Laboratory in 1989, where he has served for almost 28 years, most recently as Senior Fellow Meteorologist.
Encouraging scientific, as well as personal, growth and improvement in meteorology through collaboration has always been a top priority in Matt's career. He was named a fellow to the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in 2006 and has volunteered for several committee leadership roles with the AMS since the early 1990s. Matt was recently sworn in as president of the AMS in January 2017. His theme for his presidential term and subsequent annual meeting in January 2018 was to be "Communication". He began planning and putting the wheels in motion immediately upon learning of his president-elect status in late 2015. Along with communication, he also worked to include the early-career scientists, college students, and the young people in the field to become involved in the AMS.
Matt's drive and commitment did not begin and end with his career, however. He was a committed church member and leader. He served as an Elder at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church as well as serving on an assistant pastor search committee. His Christian faith gave him the unique ability to approach situations of all kinds with a calm demeanor and understanding. He worked extremely hard on bringing an attitude of acceptance and openness to any situation as he was always striving to remember that we are here to serve and not to judge.
Family was also strong center in Matt's life. He was a constant source of support and encouragement to his wife, Shawntel, as well as being a devoted son to his parents. His brothers, sisters-in-law, niece and nephews were always in his heart and thoughts.
When not researching or predicting the weather or enjoying time with his family, Matt could be found either working in his yard, fishing with his father or life-long family friends, or partaking in his other hobby-collecting and trading antique breweriana.
In addition to his wife, Shawntel, he is survived by his parents, John H. and Bernadette Parker, his brothers, John A. Parker (Lynn) and David A. Parker (Jill), and his nieces and nephews, Amber, John A. (Jessica), Adam, Jesse and Clay Parker.
The family will receive friends on Thursday evening, March 23, 2017 at Platt's Belair Road Chapel from 6:00 until 8:00 PM.
If so desired, memorial donations may be made to a fund established by the AMS to support student travel grants to scientific meetings. Donations may be sent to: Matthew J. Parker Fund, American Meteorological Society, 45 Beacon Street, Boston, MA, 02108.
Please sign the guestbook and send condolences at www.plattsfuneralhome.com
Platt's Funeral Home, 337 N. Belair Rd. Evans, GA 30809