Cover photo for COL (Ret) Francis Timothy Parker's Obituary
COL (Ret) Francis Timothy Parker Profile Photo

COL (Ret) Francis Timothy Parker

November 2, 1932 — October 15, 2023

Edmond

COL (Ret) Francis Timothy Parker

Francis Timothy “Tim” Parker flew into this world on November 2, 1932 in Cleveland, Ohio to Stephen J. Parker and Mary Margaret (Gormican) Parker, on Franklin Roosevelt’s Election Day.  He passed away peacefully on October 15, 2023 at the age of 90. His Mother passed away when he was four years old, and besides his father, was raised by his older siblings John (Jack), Eugene (Gene), and Eileen, with influences from his Uncle Jack and Uncle Raymond. When Tim was in the eighth grade, his father married Iris D. Shaleno, who became his stepmother.

After graduating from Benedictine High School in Cleveland, Ohio, he attended Purdue University in Indiana, sponsored by his Uncle Raymond Parker, and graduating as a Mechanical Engineer. There he met the love of his life, his wife of 68 years, Marilyn Lois Kuehn, who passed away in July, 2023.

The marriage produced three children and their grandchildren, David (Valerie Engelbrecht) and grandchild Hannah, Diane (Mike) Ming and grandchildren Zachary and Sarah, Jeff (Laurie) and grandchildren Danny and Timmy.

At Purdue, he was in the Air Force ROTC and upon graduation in 1954, attended pilot training in Florida, with service in Korea for a year immediately after the war.

After the Air Force service, he worked in the family aluminum foundry business in Cleveland.  He also joined the Ohio Air National Guard in Toledo, Ohio and flew F-84F jet fighters.  He later moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to work for a family member’s foundry and flew KC-97s and KC-135s refueling airplanes (tankers) for the Wisconsin Air National Guard, until retiring as a Colonel in 1983 with 29 years active duty.  Meantime, in 1967, he moved his family to Chicago area (Buffalo Grove), and joined United Airlines as a pilot flying Boeing 727s and DC-10s, retiring as a 737 Captain in 1992. Needless to say, with this profession and lots of others personal safety at stake, his motto was to “check, check, and double check”.

After retiring from both the Guard and United, he and Marilyn lived in Portage, WI, Las Vegas, NV, and finally Oklahoma City, OK.  He was a member of Elks Club, Quiet Birdmen, Daedalians, and Messiah Lutheran Church.  He was renowned for his great stories (mostly flying) and the famous “Tim jokes”. Others often described their jokes as a “good Tim joke”.  He loved to travel, visiting Europe, China and many US cities.

He is preceded in death by his wife Marilyn, parents Stephen and Mary, stepmother Iris, infant son James Stephen Parker, and three siblings.  He is survived by his children and their families, his nephew Stephen Parker (Debbie), and niece Mary Pennington, and other nieces and nephews.

Service will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, Tuesday October 31st at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Salvation Army, 6601 Broadway Extn, Oklahoma City 73116, or your local Salvation Army.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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