Jerry Dean Parker, 79, of Lowell, Arkansas passed from this life September 26, 2020. Jerry was born January 4, 1941, in Bakersfield, California to Isham Arritt and Ollie Arizona (Suit) Parker. He was of the Baptist faith.
Jerry was a long-time resident of Waldron, Arkansas before retiring to move to Fort Smith and later Lowell to be nearer to his children and grandchildren. Jerry and his wife, Jo, opened the Bulldog Den in Waldron in 1973. Over the years, he continued to develop property in Waldron, such as Parker Plaza, which included the Pizza Barn, Coachman’s Inn and Town & Country market. He was always happiest when he had a project to work on.
He absolutely loved to golf, and he was particularly proud of his work in helping to build the Waldron Country Club. One of his most treasured memories was he and his teammates winning the 1977 Walter Hagen National Championship in Orlando, Florida.
He was a lifelong boxing fan and loved going to casinos – sometimes to play black jack, but mostly to score free meals! When he ran across George Foreman in a Las Vegas casino and got to shake his hand, he didn’t stop smiling for days, and he never stopped retelling the story.
In his later years he enjoyed making the rounds of the “junk shops” to find treasures, and lately, locating a bargain via the internet instead. He told us always how much he loved us and recently, repeatedly, for everyone to remember after he was gone that he felt he’d had a wonderful life.
For those of you who knew Jerry, you know that he was a passionate, life-long Democrat. The circumstances of his upbringing taught him the importance of offering a helping hand to those in need. These lessons learned during his childhood drove his support for many Democratic candidates over the years, but he was especially proud to be a friend and supporter of President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Jerry is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sarah Jo Kitchens Parker; the light of his life for the past ten years: Pam (Delores Ann) Kitchens; his children: Jeff and Sheila Parker and Jo Ann Parker; his grandchildren: Kelli Robertson, Terri Robertson, Sarah and Brian Koltzau, Jenna and Kyle Brown, Clay Willoughby, JD Parker and Christopher and Liz Parker; his great-grandchildren: Kaylee, Rilee, Gabi, Finlay, Jack and Odie. He is also survived by his siblings Mack and Georgia Parker, and Eloisa Parker, and an “adopted” daughter, Erica Buneo, whom we know he would definitely not want to leave out, plus too many nieces and nephews to name here – he loved them all.
Jerry was preceded in death by his son David Parker.
Jerry’s public visitation will be 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home in Waldron, Arkansas.
Interment will be in the Center Point Cemetery near Hon, Arkansas where he will be laid to rest beside his son, David, in a private service for his immediate family only, due to the current situation. Arrangements are being entrusted to the Heritage Memorial Funeral Home in Waldron, Arkansas.
His honorary pallbearers will be his grandchildren Kelli, Terri, Sarah, Brian, Jenna, Kyle, Clay, JD, Chris and Liz. In lieu of flowers, please consider supporting the Waldron Country Club, which was near and dear to his heart.