Clifford J. Parker


Clifford J. Parker
(1937 - 2019)

Clifford J. Parker, 81, died peacefully at home on August 9, 2019. Clif is survived by his loving wife Christina (Tina) and his four children, Steven, Scott, Julia, and Carol (Danny Brown). Clif's life was dedicated to public service and family and he greatly enjoyed gardening, fishing in the Shenandoah Mountain streams (most got away), travel with Tina, his Cairn Terriers, strong cigars, and a good single malt scotch.

Clif was born August 28, 1937 at home on the family farm outside Clinton Iowa, the eleventh of twelve children born to Clifford Joseph and Johanna Bina Parker. He was the first in his family to attend college, graduating from Cornell College (Iowa) in 1959, where he majored in political science and was president of the Young Democrats.

In 1960, after graduate studies at the University of Minnesota, Clif moved to Washington, DC where he began his distinguished 34 year career as a dedicated public servant. Clif served in the Executive Office of the President under Eisenhower and continued to serve under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. After a decade in the Executive Office working on hunger and agriculture issues, he moved to the newly formed Office of Economic Opportunity, the think tank for President Johnson's war on poverty.

After completing his National Institute of Public Affairs fellowship at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School in 1969-1970, Clif returned to Washington to work at the Department of Transportation, before moving to the Environmental Protection Agency and then finishing out his career in the Department of Commerce. In 1980, he was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award. Having grown up amidst hard times, Clif truly believed that government could make a positive difference in people's lives.

Upon retiring, Clif became a Master Gardener and volunteered at the United States Botanic Garden, where he specialized in caring for the orchid collection. In 2003, Clif and Tina moved to Fort Myers, FL where Clif continued to be an active and engaged volunteer, mostly notably with Rotary Club of Fort Myers South. He remained an avid gardener and received his second Master Gardener certification in Florida where he volunteered for the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Program.

Clif will be remembered for his dedication to public service, good humor, green thumb, love of arts & culture and, for his kindness and good will.

Clif was predeceased by nine of his brothers and sisters, most recently by his sister Audrey on June 30, 2019. In addition to his wife and children, Clif is also survived by his brothers, Walt and Paul, the mother of his children, Kathryn Parker, and Susan Gillespie and children Nicholas, Kristina and Michael.

A private memorial gathering will be held at a later date. Memorial donations in memory of Clif can made to a special charity of your choice.
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Published on August 9, 2019
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2 posts

Jim and Karen (Burke) Rastrelli
Aug 10, 2019
Remember Cliff from many years ago, when we were kids. Lived down the street from him. May God Bless him and all your family. Sincerely Jim and Karen
Lydia Black
Aug 09, 2019