Robert Ernest Parker, age 80, resident of 20629 Hill Road, Saegertown, PA, passed away on Tuesday, February 10, 2015, at Edinboro Manor, Edinboro, PA, surrounded by his family. Born on April 5, 1934 in Homeville, PA, Robert was a son of the late Norman Roderick Parker and Mildred Ernestine Rutter Parker. He married the former Sue Ellen Drake on March17, 1971 and she survives.
As a youth, Robert spent many enjoyable summers at the farm of his uncle, Wilbert Rutter in Venango, PA. After graduating from McKeesport High School in McKeesport, PA , where he was on the varsity baskrtball team. He enlisted as an airman with the USAF in 1953. Trained as a pilot, Robert had various assignments as an instructor and evaluator pilot of the KC-135 tanker pilot program including two tours of duty in Vietnam where he provided combat air refueling support. In 1972, he served a third tour flying a B57G fighter/bomber. In 1973, Robert returned to the United States where he was stationed at KI Sawyer AF Base, Michigan as Deputy Commander of maintenance. During the years of 1974 – 1978, Robert was posted overseas as Deputy Commander of maintenance at RAF Bentwaters, Suffolk, England, United Kingdom where he attained the rank of Colonel.
Robert then served as the Director of Logistics at the Pentagon, Washington, DC and retired from the military in 1979. Robert as a civilian enjoyed a 21 year career from 1980 until 2000 for the City of Wichita Falls, Texas as Director of Traffic, Transportation, and Aviation. After 2000, for several years, Robert and his wife, Sue Ellen, traveled the country showing their Pinto and Painted horses from their family farm in Burkburnett, Texas. They recently moved to Saegertown, PA to be closer to family.
Robert was a life member of the Order of the Daedalians, the VFW, the American Legion, the Military Officers Association of America, the Texas Municipal League Association, Pilot Training Class 55K, 13th Bomb Squadron Association, 354th Bomb Group, as well as the Pinto Horse Association Of America.
In addition to his wife, Sue Ellen, Robert is survived by a daughter – Kim Loren Lott of Brevard, NC; a son – Kyle Adrian Parker and his wife, Deborah of North Canton, OH; and five grandchildren – Alex Lott, Megan Lott, Chris Parker, Nick Jack Parker, and Gabe Parker. Additionally, Robert is survived by numerous cousins including – Laura Rutter Merritt and her husband, Roy of Venango, Paul Rutter and his wife, Kathy of Venango, and Carol Rutter and her husband, Bernard. He was preceded in death by his younger brother – William N. Parker.
Friends may call at the Van Matre Family Funeral Home in Cambridge Springs, PA on Saturday, February, 14th from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. Interment with full military honors will follow at Venango Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.