PARKER, Dr. Robert P. Sr."Bob"
On June 29th our beloved Dad and grandfather, Robert Patrick Parker "Bob", passed away after a brief illness. Dad lived his last few days the way he lived his life, with courage, dignity, and his Irish sense of humor.
Dad was born July 24, 1925 in Rochester, Minnesota to Stephen and Eusebia Parker. One of five children, Dad grew up in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle. He attended Seattle Prep High School, where he was the quarterback for the football team his senior year. Dad liked to brag that he led his team to a perfect record that season losing every game.
During the war years, the need for physicians was great. Dad attended Seattle University for 18 months and at age 19 started Creighton Medical School. Towards the end of medical school, he met our mother Marcella Jeanne Sampson of Omaha, Nebraska. They married in Omaha on November 27, 1948 and shared a beautiful life together for 67 years until Mom's death in 2016.
The early years were filled with children and constant moving around as Dad pursued his specialty training and his service obligation in the Navy as a shipboard doctor. Our family settled in Spokane in 1954, where Dad started his practice in internal medicine. He practiced in Spokane until his retirement in 1990.
Dad had a fulfilling career in medicine, earning the love and respect of his patients and colleagues. His professional career was enhanced when he formed a partnership with George Anderson M.D. and Wayne Atwood M.D. Dad was active in the medical community becoming president of the Spokane County Medical Society and later served a year as president of the Washington State Medical Association.
A devout Catholic, Dad was a member of St. Augustine's Parish for 64 years. He provided pro bono medical care to the priests and nuns for years, resulting in a constant supply of wine and gifts from grateful clergy every Christmas. Dad always received the gifts with his ever present smile and gratitude for the privilege of being their doctor.
Dad and mother loved to entertain a constantly expanding group of close and lifelong friends. We always said that mother loved to throw a party, while Dad loved to be the party. Dad was an avid golfer, tennis player, skier and traveler. Before and after his retirement, dad and mom travelled the world together, often with friends.
Dad had eight children: Bob, Jr. (Sharry), Nancy (Jim Renga), Mary Kate, Jim (Megan), Terry (Karen), Tom, and Janie (Keith Slater). An eighth child, Steve, died in infancy. Dad had 19 grandchildren, whom he and mom adored and 14 great-grandchildren. Dad loved his large family, they were a source of great joy throughout his life. Every grandchild has a special grandpa story, always told to laughter. These stories often revolved around wonderful summer memories at the family cabin at Spirit Lake.
Christmas was a special time at the Parker house, 'The 737 Club.' Mom decorated the home magnificently and Dad led the Christmas Eve caroling at Cannon Hill Park for over 40 years.
After our mother died, Dad moved into an apartment at Rockwood South. Though devastated by mom's death, Dad continued his old friendships and enjoyed making many new friends. He inspired us with his enduring passion for life and learning. Dad sky dived on his 90th birthday, was taking piano lessons and filled his i-Pad with e-books.
In the last few days of Dad's life, he accepted his fate with a humble courage and dignity. We are forever grateful Dad never lost his sense of humor and joy for life as we said our good-byes. Dad leaves us saddened by his death but filled with gratitude for the privilege of being able to share his life as his children and grandchildren. We will miss him.
Dad leaves us to join our mother Jeanne, son Steve, parents Stephen and Eusebia Parker, sister Jean Romano and brother Stephen Parker, Jr. Dad is survived by his large family and his brothers Josh Parker and Pat Parker.
The Parker Family would like to thank the staff at Rockwood South Hill for their many kindnesses. Thanks also to the EMT and firemen of Station 9, the staff at Sacred Heart Hospital ER, the wonderful people on 9 North, and Hospice House of Spokane South for their care in making Dad's last few days comfortable and dignified.
We would especially like to thank our cousin, Dr. John Romano, for his frank "doctor to doctor" end of life discussion with Dad.
Memorial contributions may be made to: St Augustine's Church (428 West 19th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99203) or Catholic Charities (12 East 5th Avenue, Spokane, WA 99202)
A rosary will be said at St. Augustine's Church on Sunday, July 8th at 6:00 pm. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Augustine's Church on Monday July 9th at 3:00 p.m. Arrangements have been entrusted to:
Published by Spokesman-Review from Jul. 1 to Jul. 8, 2018.