James S. “Jim” Parker was born in Lowell, MA, March 24,1945 to the late Hector and Shirley Parker. Raised in Chelmsford, MA, he was a graduate of Chelmsford High and UMass, Amherst. While attending college he worked at his family’s business, The Concord Press. After college he enlisted in the Army and enrolled in Officer Candidate School at Ft. Benning, GA where he lived until his deployment to Vietnam in 1969. He was a decorated combat veteran honored with a Bronze Star for Valor and 3 Purple Hearts while serving with The 25th Infantry. He remained in the Army reserves for over 20 years attaining the rank of Colonel. He worked for the Proctor and Gamble Company for many years as well as other manufacturers. During this time he returned to school and earned a degree in Business from Westfield State College. He eventually started his own business as an independent sales rep. Jim was active in land conservation and worked to preserve the area he loved so much. He was an avid gardener and took great pride in his gardens. He could happily spend hours “digging in the dirt”, cultivating plants and perfecting his stone walls. He also enjoyed model railroading for many years and built an extensive layout for his train collection. He was an avid sports fan, rooting for all the Boston teams as well as a loyal supporter of UMass athletics with a special affinity for the UMass marching band. He enjoyed spending time with his family at the Cape every summer and visiting Florida most winters for a brief “thawing out”. He took several enjoyable trips during his retirement, always making new friends on every trip. He was predeceased by his parents Hector and Shirley Parker and his sister Ann Perry. He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Joanne (Williamson) Parker, his daughter Kelly & son-in-law Scott Snyder-Perusse of Southwick, daughter Jennifer Parker, granddaughter Allyssa Grinnell of Monson, sister Heather Johnson, brothers in law Leonard Williamson, Robert Williamson, Charles Williamson and sister in law Katherine O’Brien (Jim O’Brien) and several nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be held on Tuesday April 4th from 4-7 pm at the Firtion-Adams Funeral Service, 76 Broad Street, Westfield. Burial with military honors will be held on Wednesday April 5th at 2 pm in the Massachusetts Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main Street, Agawam. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Franklin Land Trust, 5 Mechanic Street, Shelburne Falls, MA
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