Rick Parker, 67, died at 11:40 pm on June 22, 2021, at his home in Mt Sterling after a long and rare illness, surrounded by his loving family.
Rick was born November 16, 1953, to Francis (Buck) and Katherine (Reische) Parker of Mt Sterling. He married Diane Koch on December 13, 1986, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mt Sterling. She survives.
He is also survived by their sons Ryan (and Katie) Parker of Quincy and Aaron Parker of Mt Sterling; a grandson, Rowan, of Quincy; his sisters Sandy (and Allen) Trone of East Moline and Linda (and Art) Brawdy of Versailles; several nieces and nephews; and Dakota Carlson of Orangeburg, South Carolina, an honorary family member.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, Donald; and sisters Peggy Farris, Sharon Bayles and Jeanie Montgomery.
Rick attended Brown County schools, graduating in 1971 from Brown County High School. He attended Black Hawk East College in Kewanee, IL, and graduated from Western Illinois University in Macomb with a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1976.
He taught and coached at Perry High School from 1976 to 1986. In 1986, he joined the teaching staff at Brown County High School, first as a physical education teacher, and then teaching history, civics and current events.
Rick is perhaps best known for his years as a BCHS coach. He was head coach for many years for the Hornet basketball, baseball, and golf teams, and assisted Coach Jim Henry with football. He was especially proud to have played a part in starting a chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving at BCHS. He was also a judge at the Illinois State History Fair.
Rick retired from teaching in 2010. He had spent his summers and then his post-retirement years as a house painter.
As an active community member, he was a trustee of the Mt Sterling Park Board, a member of the Brown County Historical Society board, a member of Rolling Greens Golf Club, a hunter safety instructor, and a charter member of the Brown County Deer Classic committee.
He was a deacon of First Baptist Church of Mt Sterling, and found great joy and comfort in being a member of his church family.
Rick leaves behind a rich legacy. He touched the lives of countless children of Brown, Pike, and surrounding counties, and enjoyed meeting them, expectedly and unexpectedly, as adults. He was known for a colorful and friendly manner, for speaking his thoughts without timidity, for his humorous quips, and for an underlying, often unspoken sensitivity to others, especially children.
Rick enjoyed golfing, fishing, hunting, and spending time with family (especially his grandson, Rowan). He was an avid fan of the New York Yankees and Green Bay Packers. He was a lover of history, of wildlife, and of practical jokes.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 26, 2021 in the Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling with Rev. Aaron Foster officiating.
Burial will follow in the Hersman Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Friday evening at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the Brown County Historical Society, First Baptist Church of Mt Sterling, or the Relapsing Polychondritis Foundation. Blood donations to the American Red Cross are also appreciated.
The Hendricker Funeral Home in Mt. Sterling is assisting the family with the arrangements.
First Baptist Church
Mount Sterling IL 62353
Brown County Historical Society
Relapsing Polychondritis Foundation