NEWBURGH — James Truman Parker, 84, of Newburgh, and formerly of Oakland City, passed away at home with his wife Karen and son Barry by his side on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019.
He was preceded in death by his parents Howard and Henrietta Parker of Winslow, and brother Bud of Oakland City.
Jim graduated from Winslow High School in 1953 and Purdue University School of Pharmacy in 1960. His college career was interrupted by service in the U.S. Army where he served two years in the Army Radio Corps based in Seattle Washington. His Army unit’s main function was to protect the Boeing airplane factory during the Korean War.
He began his pharmacy career at H.A. Woods Drugstore in Haynie’s Corner in Evansville. Jim then moved out west to practice pharmacy in Phoenix, Arizona and Oceanside, California before moving back to Indiana to share ownership in Parker’s Rexall Drug with his brother Bud in Oakland City. Jim worked as a pharmacist at the Rexall Drug for over 30 years. He also worked as a relief pharmacist in neighboring communities and the Oakland City Wirth Hospital.
Jim was involved in civic community leadership in both Oceanside and Oakland City. He served in the Jaycees as president and treasurer in both communities. Jim also served as president of the Oakland City Business Association. One of his proudest moments was helping to lead the planning of the Oakland City Bicentennial Celebration in 1976.
Jim is survived by his wife of 55 years Karen (Larson), sons Steve (Jodi) of Shiocton, Wisconsin and their sons Josh, 19, and Tom, 14, and Barry (Leslie) of Newburgh and his children Larson, 16, and Berkeley, 13, and sister Linda Troxler of Jasper.
Jim loved theater, both performing and attending. He had leading and supporting roles in local theater companies stretching from Mount Carmel, Henderson, Kentucky, and Evansville. Some of his favorite roles were as the rabbi in "Fiddler on the Roof," the doctor in "The Good Doctor," and the resort owner in "Farce of Nature." He was a paid extra on several Hollywood films shot in the tri-state area and helped with lighting and stage management with the Evansville Civic Theater.
Jim was in a weekly card game for more than 50 years. He loved playing poker, bridge, canasta, euchre, and hearts. He “shot the moon” in hearts every time he could.
From childhood, Jim always loved dogs. He and his wife Karen volunteered to foster parent animals and were frequent adopters of dogs and cats from local shelters.
Funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Lamb-Basham Memorial Chapel in Oakland City. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. until services. Dr. Douglas Low will be officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to Gibson County Animal Services in Jim’s name.