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PARKER, Kenneth

, “A Life Well Lived”  

We come together from the diversity of our grieving

To gather in the warmth of this community,

Giving stubborn witness to our belief that

In times of sadness there is room for laughter

In times of darkness there will always be light.

May we hold fast to the conviction

That what we do with our lives matters

and a caring world is possible after all.

Maureen Killoran  

Kenneth Ronald Parker left this world on November 4, 2020, in Olds, Alberta, a better place than it was

when he was born March 30, 1936 in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.

He was predeceased by his parents Wyman  Miner Parker and Clara Pauline Parker (Pedersen) and his siblings  Wyman Amasa (Bud), Vera Mae Purdy, Hughbert Maroni, and Capitola Maree Marin, His sisters-in-law Irene Parker and Shirley May Parker , brothers-in-law Bert Purdy and Elie Marin. He is lovingly remembered by numerous nieces and nephews and a multitude of friends.  

Ken was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan and spent his early years and many summers on the family near Bapaume, Saskatchewan.  

He was a lifelong learner of various interests. His formal education started in a one room schoolhouse called Log Cabin School. He went on to graduate high school in Humboldt, Saskatchewan, earn a BSc (Agronomy and Botany) from Bringham Young University in Provo Utah, USA and finished with a Master's Degree in Education from the Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. These were his formal accomplishments but he enjoyed learning something every day. He signed up for courses in Production and Marketing, Personnel Administration, Speed Reading, Investment Management, Law for the Layman, Judging and Showing Light horses, Oil Painting and Sketching, Equine Reproduction, Artificial Insemination, Mixed Media Art Course, Oil Painting, Tanning Hides, Microwave Cooking to name a few.  His inquisitive nature and his love of learning were constants in his life.  

Ken was the epitome of a good and loyal friend. He had a way of making anyone he met feel that they were the most important person in the room.  He was genuinely interested in people.  Always holding out a helping hand if there was a need of any kind. He was supportive and generous to everyone in his life. Be aware that if you ever said that you admired something he had he would say “Take it, it's yours.”  

 Ken was always industrious. His first official duty   on the farm was to make sure there was enough wood in the house for the stove.   When  his father passed away suddenly in  1945 Ken and his Mother moved to  Saskatoon for a few years where he helped babysit his nieces but later returned to Spiritwood where  he worked in the general store, washed dishes and then  clerked Permack's dept. store. After moving to Humboldt he worked in Brusers General Store and spent summers helping on the farm. After graduating from Humboldt Collegiate he attended University of Saskatoon for a year and a half,    then back to farming while deciding what to pursue next.  

One Christmas while travelling to Ontario with his mother and brother Hugh to visit his brother Amasa and family he by chance found a Book of Mormon in a hotel room. This was his introduction into the Church of Latter Day Saints. A visit from missionaries the next summer set him on the path to applying to Bringham Young University in Provo, Utah where, in 1963, he achieved his BSc degree.  

While studying in Provo Ken learned of his family's history with the Church of Latter Day Saints.

His paternal grandparents were both members of the church and his father was baptized into the church as well. Ken was baptised and ordained as a deacon and teacher in 1961 and in 1962 became an elder in the Melchizedek priesthood. He followed the teachings of the church for many years.  

 He started his professional life with Agriculture Canada in Regina and Ottawa, as a plant products inspector and personnel administrator. Olds College was his next stop as an instructor in Plant Sciences, Seed and Grain Technology, Vice President (Dean) Administration, Chairman of Land Sciences dept, Continuing Education, Dean of Instruction (Academics).  He also applied his skills as Executive Director of North Peace Adult Education Consortium, Coordinator Manning Adult Education Center and a stint as instructor at Grande Prairie Regional College.  

Ken was blessed with self-motivation. He  started a Heritage seed company, “Plants with a History”,  tried his hand in  Cereal and Oil seed Crop production, farming for 5 years on 550 acres in the Olds area,  and fulfilled a contract with the  Ottawa Dept. of Indian Affairs to establish a program on Native Land Use and Management.  

“My greatest personal and professional satisfaction stems from seeing the people I am teaching maximize their own potential.” Ken Parker

 It was this philosophy that took Ken down the path his life would follow as an educator with the many years spent at Olds College.  

  After retiring in 1998 his devotion for teaching and love for   adventure prodded Ken to apply to the China Teaching Program through the LDS Church. After his successful acceptance he spent his last formal teaching responsibilities at the University Of Beijing, in Beijing, China.

He made many, many more friends and   his desire to help and his generosity knew no bounds.

He taught his students not only how to write and  speak English but what life was like in Canada and offered opportunities for them to come to Canada and continue their education. His connection to his friends in China uplifted Ken until the end of his days.  

He shared his love of travel by inviting friends and family to visit him in China and experience the wonder of such an ancient culture. For anyone who took him up on his offer it was a wonderful holiday.  

There was no “price of Admission” into Ken's circle. Everyone was welcome. He had so many friends from teaching, skating, curling, travelling, most certainly from dancing and just everyday living.  He so looked forward to his weekly dance sessions and with having the Parker “sweet tooth”, enjoyed all the treats. 

He was the best of sons, brothers and a generous and compassionate Uncle. We, his family and friends, who   are left behind to grieve his passing, have the wonderful memories he left us that we can use for comfort whenever we think or speak of him and enjoy the company of each other. .  We are very grateful for the part he played in each of our lives.  He is part of our forever.  He was 84 years old. He was dearly loved and is missed by many.  

How do you honour someone who made so many great memories possible, someone whose true generosity is a lesson we can all follow.  Someone who  held your hand as you walked your path   and shared his path with you?  You simply say   “Thank You! Thank You for everything”                           

Author Unknown

Weep not for me though I am gone

Into that gentle night

Grieve if you will, but not for long

Upon my soul's sweet flight

 

I am at peace, my soul's at rest

There is no need for tears.

For with your love I was so blessed

For all those many years.

 

There is no pain, I suffer not,

The fear now is all gone.

Put now these things out of your thoughts

In your memory I live on.

 

Remember not my fight for breath.

Remember not the strife.

Please do not dwell upon my death

But celebrate my life!  

There will be a “Celebration of Life” at The Olds Legion,   on Saturday Sept 25, 2021, at 11:00 am.

Please come and meet some of Ken's family and share your memories of him.

RSVP to Elaine at 403-507-8345 by text or phone call.