My friend, Jimmy Parker, passed away a few days ago. My schedule was such that I didn’t know of his death until yesterday. I first became personally acquainted with Jimmy while he was manager of the Family History Library in Salt Lake City. He was kind enough to serve as our dinner speaker one year for the Salt Lake Christmas Tour. Although Jimmy retired in 1999, he has remained active in the Family History community, and I, as well as many others will surely miss him.
Following is an excerpt from his Deseret News Obituary:
1939 ~ 2011
Bountiful, UT – Jimmy Bruce Parker left this life and peacefully passed into the next on Friday, September 9, 2011. He was born on February 8, 1939 to Gerald Edward and Ida Eleanor (Tilford) Parker in Caldwell, Idaho. He attended public schools in Homedale, Idaho where he met his eternal sweetheart, Sherlene (Sherry) Byington. They were married on August 29, 1958 and sealed for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple on November 25, 1959. Jimmy graduated from BYU with a Bachelor’s degree in secondary education, a major in physics and a composite minor in math and chemistry. He taught at Central Jr. High and Bonneville High Schools in Idaho Falls, Idaho for a short time before beginning his career in family history on the 3rd of July, 1963 at the Genealogical Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In the beginning of his career, he traveled to many different locations in the United States and Canada, gathering records for the library. He served in many positions in the family history department, including the research department and priesthood genealogy department. He was the manager of the Family History Library for five and a half years and retired in December of 1999. He served as a missionary in Family History and Worldwide Support from June 2007 to December 2009. He was a well known writer and a great educator, teaching all over the North American Continent at the National Genealogical Conferences and BYU Education Week. He served on the board of The International Commission of the Accreditation of Professional Genealogy, president of the National Genealogical Teachers of America, Association of Professional Genealogist and President and Fellow of The Utah Genealogical Society. He was accredited in many areas of North American Research. His great love of family history and temple work has been passed on as a legacy to his family.