The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

December 4, 2012

James Nelson “Buddy” Parker Jr.

Palestine Herald-Press

— James Nelson “Buddy” Parker Jr. passed from this life to be with his Lord on Dec. 1, 2012 at Memorial Herman Hospital in Houston after being struck by a car while crossing Dixie Drive on Thursday evening.  

Buddy was born Aug. 27, 1921 in Huntsville to James Nelson and Chloe Tilda Gray Parker. After high school, he worked as a welder in Orange during World War II building ships. After the war, he worked for Missouri Pacific Railroad as a brakeman and then in their general offices in Palestine before moving to Lake Jackson in 1956 where he worked at Dow Chemical until his retirement in 1982.

Buddy was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved to garden, play bridge, hunt, fish and cook. In his younger years, he was a bowler and tennis player. He was a member of the board of trustees at First United Methodist Church in Lake Jackson. He valued education and pushed his daughters to make good grades and go to college. He wanted his daughters to be independent and self-sufficient, and he encouraged his wife to finish her college degree.  

Buddy was preceded in death by his parents, James Nelson Parker Sr. and Chloe Tilda Gray Parker of Elkhart; daughter, Joyce Louise Parker Tankersley of Ridgecrest, Calif.; sisters, Maurice Smith of Houston and Dorothy June Farquhar of Corpus Christi.   

He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Natalie Engelke Parker; daughter and son-in-law, Frances and H.N. Bitter of Lake Jackson; and son-in-law, Jim Tankersley of Ridgecrest, Calif.; five grandchildren, David Bitter of Lake Jackson, Dennis Tankersley and wife Krysta of Beaumont, Calif., Jennifer Rickets and husband Cory of Ridgecrest, Calif., Katie Tankersley of Chico, Calif., and Ben Tankersley of San Jose, Calif.; and one great-grandson, David Parker Tankersley of Beaumont, Calif.

An Irish wake will be held at Wursthaus from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 for friends of the family. Services will be held at Restwood Funeral Home at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012.  

Pallbearers will be Ben Townes, Benny Morgan, Butch Munnerlyn and Frank Novosad. Interment will follow at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 at Roselawn Cemetery in Palestine, Texas.

Family has requested that contributions in memory of Mr. Parker be made to a charity of one’s choice.

Online condolences may be left for the family of Buddy Parker at

Arrangements are under the direction of Restwood Funeral Home, Clute, Texas, 979-297-2121.