Oliver Mark Parker, the 10th child of James Lawrence and Della Oliver Parker, was born January 25, 1916 at Simons, Missouri. He attended Rocky Branch Country School between Cabool and Houston, Missouri. When he was around 10 years old, Oliver, his parents and younger siblings returned to Redding, Iowa to live and care for his aging grandparents.
Oliver attended and graduated from Redding high school in 1934. While in school he enjoyed basketball, baseball, playing the trombone and especially singing in the school operettas. After high school he would hitchhike to Kossuth county in northern Iowa to pick corn by hand. Oliver first began farming on his own near Gravity. On April 16, 1937 he married Pearl Lavene Saville Parker at the Tingley Methodist parsonage in a double wedding with his older brother, Frank, and Lavene’s older sister, Esther.
Oliver and Lavene lived and farmed near Diagonal, Iowa most of their married life.
Four children blessed their marriage, Lloyd, Larry, Robert and Janis. Oliver also worked for five years measuring ground for the ASC office. Oliver was baptized by sprinkling in the Diagonal Presbyterian Church. He was a 4-H leader for five years and had served on the county 4-H council. After Lavene’s health failed, Oliver moved to Kellerton where he lived 10 years until entering Clearview Home in September 2009.
Oliver was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Martha DuBois, Thelma Miller, Florence Vandivort and Ruth Amick; brothers, Elvin, Sam, Paul and Frank; wife, Lavene; granddaughter, Angela Parker; great-grandson, Aiden Parker; sisters-in-law, Esther Parker and Bernadine (Denzil) Platt; and brother-in-law, Elvin (May) Saville.
He is survived by children Lloyd (Donella) Parker of Papillion, Nebraska, Larry (Nancy) Parker of Creston, Iowa, Robert Parker of Springdale, Arkansas and Janis (Ron) Loomis of Kellerton, Iowa; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; two sisters, Frances Bullock of Afton Care Center and Mary Fox of Sterling, Colorado; sister-in-law, Ruth Saville; brother-in-law, Clyde (Delores) Saville, and many nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial fund has been established in his name to be decided later.
Services were held at Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Saturday, June 26, 2010, with Rev. Rick Hawkins officiating. Musicians included Sandy Campbell and Richard and Camille Jackson.
Casket bearers were Brian Loomis, Chad Parker, Keith Bennett, Randy Parker, Robert Parker and Whitney Parker.
Oliver was laid at rest in the Redding Cemetery, Redding.