ARLINGTON, VA -- John R. Parker '55, a writer, storyteller, and a former advertising executive who retired to Chestertown so he could spend more time cheering on the Washington College Shoremen, died December 11, 2010, at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington.
John was a part of Coach Charley Clark's finest team. In 1954, the Shoremen shared the national championship title with Syracuse University in the Laurie Cox Division and were ranked fifth among all colleges in the nation. The former lacrosse goalie racked up a record 47 saves against Navy, a College record that stills stands. In 1954 and 1955, he was an honorable mention All-America goalie.
After graduation, John was a member of the Washington Press Corps for almost ten years. He left journalism to join the advertising division of Reader's Digest and, later, the New York Daily News, both in promotional executive positions. He then became advertising director of 50 Plus Magazine.
John was well known for his sense of humor. He published five books: Burp: A Journal about Food and How to Enjoy It; No Butts About It: How to Want to Stop Smoking; How to Sink a Sub: A Substitute Teacher's Rather Strange Appraisal of the American Educational System; The Kennedys Are Driving Him Crazy; and News Media: The Weak Slat Under the Bed of Democracy.
In 1992 John and his wife, Marcy, moved to Chestertown, where they opened The Parker House, a bread-and-breakfast three blocks from campus. Over the years, John and Marcy served as Washington College's unofficial ambassadors, hosting an array of campus visitors, prospective students, alumni, Board members, and parents. John helped out at the Literary House Press, managing sales and distribution of regional titles. Marcy worked in the Development Office and the President's Office. The Parkers were active supporters of The 1782 Society, Friends of Miller Library and the Sho'men Club.
When Marcy died of ovarian cancer in August 2006, John turned to his Washington College family for support. In time, he became reacquainted with his college sweetheart, Mary Lee Lincoln McIntyre '54. The former classmates rekindled their romance and were married on campus less than a year ago, walking down the aisle hand-in-hand in the McLain Atrium of the John S. Toll Science Center. John and Mary Lee were living in McLean, Virginia, at the time of his death.
Services have been scheduled for Sunday, December 12, at 2 pm at the Chestertown Presbyterian Church. A reception will follow the service.