Robert Parker '86 April 29, 2022 1:01 PM updated: April 29, 2022 1:07 PM
Robert Lynn Parker
September 24, 1960 - April 20, 2021
On Tuesday, April 20, 2021, Robert Lynn Parker, beloved husband, father, son, brother, friend and advisor, passed from this life and entered the gates of glory to join his mother Carmella and nephew Josiah. While his time on earth was cut short for those he left behind, his legacy of kindness, goodness, and positivity will remain for those whose lives he touched. To say that Robert enjoyed life is an understatement, as he truly rejoiced in it and took everyone he met along for the ride. This world will not be the same without his effervescent smile and the ever-present sparkle in his blue eyes.
Robert was born to Arnold and Carmella Parker on September 24, 1960, in Wharton, Texas. He was the “baby” of the family and, depending on whom you ask, he either led a life of endless torture where he was always last to eat, last in the bathroom and the only one who got in trouble, or he was the favorite and got everything he wanted. In either case, he was a deeply loved and happy man. An adventurer at heart, Robert lived in many places. He touched lives from West Texas to College Station, where he met and married the love of his life, Traci, in 1990. After a short stint in El Paso, the couple made the North Central Texas area their home. Their son Tommy was born in 1997, making their lives complete.
Robert was a West Texas boy to his core. His athletic prowess began in Colorado City, Texas and continued when he moved to Matador, Texas, and became a Motley County Matador all-star athlete. Robert’s wandering spirit and financial prowess appeared in young adulthood. Pursuing the best athletic scholarship deals to put himself through college, it is rumored he attended three schools in one week. He finally committed to and graduated from South Plains Junior College in Levelland, Texas, where he received top honors as a javelin thrower and decathlete before moving on to Angelo State University. He earned his bachelor’s degree from ASU as well as national collegiate honors as a javelin thrower and decathlete. He graduated from Angelo State in 1983 with the school record in the javelin. His record throw of 246 feet 10 inches, will never be broken as the implement was changed several years after his departure. He continued to train, with his sights set on the 1984 Olympic Trials, until a hamstring pull kept him from competing. That same year, Robert began his coaching and teaching career at Paris High School.
In 1985 he went to Texas A&M University to earn his master’s degree and work as a graduate assistant track coach prior to being hired as the head throws and combined events coach there. Robert had the privilege of coaching many talented athletes at both the high school and collegiate level. During his tenure at Texas A&M, UTEP, Highland Park, and Flower Mound High School, Robert’s technical expertise contributed to the success of two Olympic medalists in the shot put; the current world record holder in the shot put; 3 national champions; 20 conference champions; 14 All-Americans; and many school and conference record-holders. Five (5) of his shot putters are still ranked in the Top 12 all-time at Texas A&M along with 3 discus throwers, 2 javelin throwers, and 4 combined event athletes.
Upon retiring from coaching in 2000, Robert began his career as a financial advisor where he worked with Merrill Lynch, Smith Barney, UBS and Wells Fargo. He loved this work and was well respected by his peers and clients. A golf enthusiast, Robert was able to successfully intertwine his financial expertise and his athletic spirit on the course (affectionately known as his “office”). It was here where he developed many trusted business relationships and lifelong friends.
He is survived by his loving wife and son, Traci Parker (Nee Stevenson) and Steven Thomas “Tommy” Parker, his father, Arnold Oliver Parker and his wife Madge, and his mother-in-law and father-in-law Emily and Joe De Lorenzi. In addition, Robert is survived by his sister Lillian “Jean” Boyd and her husband Tom; his brother Arnold Wayne Parker and his wife Linda; his brother Stephen “Boog” Parker and his wife Laura; and his brother-in-law Michael “Mikey” Stevenson and wife Anita. Robert is also survived by “the begats” (as they are known collectively): nephew Dan Parker, wife Mandy and children Daniel, Caelen, Hannah and Rachel; niece Tara Allred, husband Duane and children Makson, Kaden and Lilli; niece Sarah Poss, husband Chris, son Elijah and baby Adelaide (who is still in the oven); niece Erica Warner, husband Scott and children Parker and Oakley; nephew Matthew Parker, wife Erica, daughter Stella and baby Brock (who is still in the oven); niece Lisa Roderick, husband Hayden, son Luke and baby boy (who is still in the oven); nephews Max and Sloan Stevenson and niece Lily Stevenson. He will also be dearly missed by his faithful Doberman companion, Deuce as well as the reigning feline queen, Sassy.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at DeBerry Funeral Directors, Denton, Texas, from 5PM to 7PM. A celebration of life service will be held Monday, May 3, 2021, at 2:30PM on Baker’s Landing - Denton Country Club, Argyle, Texas.