Ronald Dewet Parker, Sr., 73, passed away Dec. 21, 2018. On Feb. 1, 1944, Ron was born to Hope Gwendolyn Ritzman and George Dewey Weehunt in Prosser, Washington, during the Manhattan Project. The eldest of eight children, he was raised in Libby and finished school at eighth grade to pursue mechanics.
At 17, Ron enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserve. He became an Army medical specialist and received a Sharp Shooter Badge (Rifle). At age 18, Ron changed his last name from Weehunt to Parker, being as Damon “Soup” Parker was the only father he knew. After eight years of service, he was honorably discharged in 1969.
Ron had many trades, including logging (A.K.A. “The Polyester Logger”), mechanic, truck driver, welder, and he was a highly skilled long-boom crane operator in both the logging field and the oil industry. He was an active member at the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Honor Guard. He loved joke-telling, limericks, BS’ing and both types of music -- “Country and Western.”
During his life, Ron was married to Emiline Voves, Carol Roberts -- together they had Audray and Ronald, Jr. -- and Sharon Goins Parker. After Sharon’s passing, he reconnected with Emiline, whom he spent his last four years with. Seven years to the day after the passing of Sharon, Ron passed away in the early evening of Dec. 21, holding hands with his daughter Audray.
Ron was preceded in death by his parents Hop and Damon “Soup” Parker; siblings Richard Parker, Dennis Parker and Kathy Rowland; and son-in-law Brent McCollum. He is survived by siblings Roxanne Parker, Jerry (Marie) Parker, Julie Dyck and Kathy Parker; children Audray (Keith Howard) McCollum and Ronald (Jami) Parker, Jr.; stepson Damon McLaughlin; grandchildren Sari (Josh) McCollum, Karson (Kelly) McCollum, Emilya Parker and Chloe Parker; great-grandchildren Bentley and Lane.
Often referred to as “Uncle Ron” throughout the community, he will be greatly missed.
A memorial service will be held later this spring.