Cover photo for Craig J. Parker's Obituary
Craig J. Parker Profile Photo
1950 Craig 2018

Craig J. Parker

November 19, 1950 — February 3, 2018

Craig Joseph Parker, 67, passed away on Feb. 3, 2018, at Fredonia Regional Hospital in Fredonia, Kansas. He was born to Charles and Dulcie (Glidewell) Parker, Jr. on Nov. 19, 1950, at the same hospital, thus closing his life's journey where it began.

Craig started his school years at Aunt Hazel's kindergarten and completed twelve years in the Fredonia schools, graduating from Fredonia High School in 1968. In 1973, he married Sherrilyn Gerdel. They were later divorced. To their union were born two sons, Matthew Charles in 1978 and Daniel Joseph in 1982. Craig completed his Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Theatre at Emporia State College in 1974. He was a gifted vocalist and guitarist.

In the early 1970's, he used those talents for two summers with the Fredonia Players as they staged shows from the back of a flatbed truck touring area towns and lakes. He also sang at countless local weddings, funerals and family celebrations through the years.

Most of Craig's working career was spent in Fredonia where he owned and operated the Parker Insurance Agency. From 1997 to 2001, he served as a national director of the Association of Professional Insurance Agents. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, he was a member of Benedict Lodge #403 where he served as chaplain. He was also a long-time member of the National Rifle Association.

Craig was involved in a number of church and community activities. Over the years, he coached his boys' summer baseball teams, served as president of the Fredonia school board, sang with and directed the First United Methodist Church choir, and in the late 1970's, directed several productions presented by the Fredonia Community Theater. He served as Master of Ceremonies for the Homecoming parade for several years in the early 1990's. In 1996, after the death of his son Matthew, Craig sold his insurance agency and moved to McPherson, Kansas, where he worked with the Alliance Agency, Inc. In 2005 he returned to Fredonia and began substitute teaching in Fredonia Middle and High Schools. Craig had a tremendous heart for teenagers and loved working with them. It has been a great gift to his family to meet many former Fredonia students who remember him fondly.

Craig is survived by his son Daniel of Kansas City, Missouri; his sister Charis (Roger) Geisinger of Bella Vista, Arkansas; nephews Nicholas (Narra) Geisinger of Falls Church, Virginia, and Nathan Geisinger of Charleston, South Carolina; and numerous cousins. In addition to son Matthew, he was preceded in death by his parents.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on February 17, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church in Fredonia, Kansas.

A memorial in Craig's name has been established with the Fredonia Middle/High School music program. Contributions may be sent in care of Wickham Family Funeral Home, 510 N 7th St, Fredonia, KS 66736.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Craig J. Parker, please visit our flower store.


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