Richard Parker

Richard Harold "Dick" Parker

Tuesday, May 19th, 1942 - Tuesday, December 17th, 2019
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Richard Harold
Age 77, of Roseville

Passed away surrounded by family after a long battle with heart failure and lung disease. Preceded in death by father Harold L. and mother Josepha G. Parker, brother Jim Parker, and niece Nora Longley. Survived by wife Debra Parker; daughters Laurie Parker (Thomas Hutton), Sarah Parker (Andrew Lansford), and Amy (Paul) Shanafelt; siblings Mary Jo (John) O’Hearn, Nance (Brian) Longley, and Bob Parker; grandchildren Aline, William, Mae, Fergus and Ada; and many nieces and nephews. Deeply connected to his family--Dick loved and was proud of his wife, daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. A devoted son to his parents, close with his sisters and brothers. A loyal and caring friend who stayed in touch with many people from the different stages of his life. A storyteller with a sharp wit and quirky sense of humor, who could engage anyone in a conversation.

Dick graduated from Lyons Township High School in La Grange, IL in 1960. Working on the school newspaper sparked his interest and inspired him to choose journalism as his major at the (then) College of St. Thomas, where he was a member of the yearbook staff and the Tiger Club. He spent his distinguished 37 year career at the Star Tribune as an editor and writer. Over the years, he worked in the newsroom, copy edited, wrote, and curated the Books and Games magazine and the Retro and Minnesota Made columns, among others. “Doc” was respected by colleagues, honored by the Minnesota Newspaper Guild with several Page One awards for clever headlines and layouts, and is remembered fondly by those who worked with him for his editorial skill, thoughtfulness and mentorship.

Dick was an accomplished self-taught musician who found great joy playing banjo, guitar, and occasionally singing with church choirs and various folk and traditional jazz bands in the Twin Cities, including The Strictly People, The Better-Than-Nothing Dirt Band, The Reggie Hacksenflax Society Dance Band, The Mouldy Figs, The Banjo Bandits, Red Beans and Rice, and most recently The Pig’s Eye Jass Band. He was also a skilled avocational photographer with a lifelong love of documenting both the beauty and the absurdity of the world around him, serving as visual and written historian of family and life events. He was an avid collector of cameras and banjos, amassing a wealth of knowledge about both that he loved to share with others, and a maker of things beautiful and strange: Weenr sticks, match-head rockets, electronic oddities, surrealist movies, satirical writings, stained glass art, and photoshopped pictures.

All are welcome for a memorial celebration of life on SATURDAY Dec. 28, 4-8 pm at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #34 in Minneapolis, 2507 E. 25th St, Minneapolis. 4-5pm open house with appetizers. 5-6pm dinner and music by members of the Pig’s Eye Jazz Band and friends. 6-6:30pm eulogies and memories. 6:30-7pm Dick Parker documentary. 7-8pm social hour. Private interment at the family homestead in Wisconsin this summer. Please direct memorials to support MinnPost ( ) and Jazz88 ( ) and
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, December 28th, 2019 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Saturday, December 28th, 2019 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie #34 in Minneapolis
    2507 E. 25th Street
    Minneapolis, MN
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    4-5pm: open house with appetizers 5-6pm: dinner and music 6-6:30pm: eulogies and memories 6:30-7pm: Dick Parker documentary 7-8pm: socializing and food


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Milo Parker

Posted at 02:05pm
We are so glad to have met Dick and others in your family as we researched our Parker roots in Hancock.
He was an interesting and talented guy, and even came to visit us in New Glarus. Our condolences to the family.
Milo and Debbie Parker

Jody McIlrath

Posted at 10:06am
Dick was always admired by family and friends for his caring manner, intelligence, keen wit and musical talents. I am proud to be a cousin and terribly saddened at everyone’s loss of a great soul.

Terese Wigand

Posted at 05:06pm
Dick Parker. I knew him, and Deb, for a short period a long time ago when we all worked in the Tribune newsroom. He was one of the good ones. My deepest sympathies. He and Sicherman are up there now, telling stories and yukking it up. Terry Wigand.

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