Robert S. Parker, 92

AUBURN — Robert “Bob” Stanley Parker died Sunday afternoon, April 8, 2018, in Auburn. He was 92 years old and had been married for 71 years to Lucile Gonnam Parker, who survives him.

He was born Sept. 30, 1925, in Detroit, Mich. He lived most of his life in Reading, Mass., where he graduated from Reading High School in 1943.

Upon graduation, Bob wanted to serve his country in the Air Corps, and attempted to enlist immediately that June, but was turned away because of his ears. In the fall of 1943, when he was drafted, Army doctors told him he would just have to find a job that didn’t depend on ears. He served with distinction in the Army Air Corps in the South Pacific where he was a top turret gunner in a B24 Bomber. It was the safest place, he said, with the best armor, and he was an excellent marksman, but it was also one of the few jobs in an airplane that could accommodate his skinny, six-foot frame.

After the war, Bob graduated from Bentley College in 1949 with an Associate Degree, and later continued his education at Northeastern University. He started as an accounting clerk and advanced during 38 years to treasurer of the company now known as Eversource. He was especially proud to be involved with the construction of a new office building on the Charles River just before he retired. In addition to his work with the utility company, for a time he was instrumental in managing the facilities and finances of the American Congregational Society on Beacon Street in Boston. He also had a private accounting practice. Bob was an active member of the Cambridge YMCA and on its board. He was a member of the Reading Masonic Temple and the Aleppo Temple of the Shriners in Boston.

Bob loved his work and his community, but more than anything he loved his family. He is survived by his three daughters, Vivian Parker Hodgkins and her husband George Hodgkins Jr.; Diana Parker; and Patricia Parker Converse and her husband Kenneth Converse; as well as the foreign exchange student he loved as his fourth daughter, Fakhria Khorrami. He loved to take his family to their cottage in Bridgton, where he enjoyed relaxing on the beach. Later, when the house in Bridgton he had long-admired went on the market, he bought it. He retired there and frequently hosted his family, including eight grandchildren: Gwendolyn Simpson Junghanss, Cedric Simpson, Dominic Gandolfo, Peter Gandolfo, Maryah Converse, Elizabeth Converse, Wesley Converse and Benjamin Converse.

Bob’s house in Maine was a showcase of flower and vegetable gardens. He was very artistic, making totem poles, other woodworking projects, and stained glass. He was an avid reader, particularly Westerns and sea stories. He and Lucile traveled extensively worldwide. Both were avid birdwatchers. For ten years, they had a second home in Naples, Florida.

At 80 years old, he fulfilled his dream of designing and building a home. Bob’s ever-expanding family, including their four great-grandchildren, continued to visit and enjoy the pond. It was a difficult decision for Bob and Lucile to move from Bridgton to an apartment at Schooner Estates in Auburn three years ago.

Bob was predeceased by his brother Lawrence Parker, and his sisters Harriet Parker Peterson and Priscilla Parker Marcoux. He is survived by his wife, three daughters and two sons-in-law, eight grandchildren and their three spouses, and four great-grandchildren, as well as his brother Kendall Parker.

Interment services will be scheduled for late spring in Reading, Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Loon Echo Land Trust in Bridgton.

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