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Darrell Dean Parker, age 75, of Nixa, Missouri continued his trend of impeccable timing passing from this life of natural causes on November 21, 2022 after spending a heartfelt week with family and ensuring the family will gather and give thanks for years to come while fondly remembering his love of mashed potatoes, pineapple salad, and ketchup as the important Thanksgiving Day combination to grace his plate.
Darrell was born on May 13, 1947 in Jefferson, Iowa to the late Dean and Alberta (Fagen) Parker. During his early years, he helped out around the farm and spent time with his many cousins. Attending Yale Jamaica Bagley High School, Darrell was a member of the band, played on the inaugural basketball and football teams and captured the heart of Sally Thornburg. The pair were later nominated as YJB Homecoming King and Queen. Destined to be soulmates, Darrell and Sally were united in marriage on August 13, 1967.
Darrell was a service member of the United States Air Force from 1966 to 1970. He and Sally lived in places such as Alaska and California before settling in Ankeny, Iowa where they raised their family. Together, they enjoyed many road trips, fun nights laughing and visiting with friends, and watching their children grow. Eventually, they relocated to southern Missouri where they loved to take in music shows around Branson and the sights at Silver Dollar City. Darrell was always tinkering with something and never hesitated to work on Sally’s honey-do list. Darrell and Sally recently celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary back in Iowa.
Darrell spent most of his career as a Logistics and Operations Manager for various transportation companies. Darrell thought of his colleagues and drivers as his second family. He never knew a stranger or a dirty joke that wasn’t worth telling. Darrell endeared being a father supporting his children by coaching and teaching them how to build or fix just about anything, but most of all he taught them how to love life and others. As a grandfather “Papa D” cherished the time he spent with his grandchildren which was obvious to others by the stories he shared. Among friends he was known as “Parker”, “Parks” and “Big D” the big guy with a laugh that would fill a room which will be greatly missed. His quick wit and genuine soul is what made him one-of-a-kind and loved by so many.
He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings Kathy (Bill Rogers) and Donnie (Polly). He is survived by his wife Sally, daughter Pam (Jared Guthridge) and son Doug (Kendra), grandchildren Raymond, Della, and Kaedyn, brother Dennis and numerous friends.
Family and friends are invited to attend a Celebration of Life gathering on Wednesday December 14th anytime from 2:30-5:30pm at the Springfield Botanical Gardens located at 2400 Scenic Ave, Springfield MO. In Spring of 2023 a similar gathering will be held in Ankeny, IA. In Lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the non-profit organizations he shares passion for with his children. The Alaska SeaLife Center (www.alaskasealife.org) and the Upper Midwest Great Dane Rescue (www.thegreatdanerescue.com).
Life without Darrell is hard, but “when we lose someone we love, we must learn not to live without them, but to live with the love they left behind.” – Unknown
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