CHARLESTON, IL – Barry D. Parker, age 57 of Charleston, passed away in the comfort of his home on Saturday, March 2, 2013 following a courageous battle with ALS. Visitation for family and friends will be held Wednesday, March 6, 2013 from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston. Services honoring and celebrating his life will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2013 at the funeral chapel with Pastor Steve McCann officiating. Interment will follow in Mound Cemetery in Charleston. The family requests that those attending wear casual attire. In lieu of flowers it is preferred that memorial gifts in his honor be made to the Barry Parker ALS Respite Fund or The Children’s Advocacy Center of East Central Illinois. Gifts may be left on the memorial table at the visitation or service, or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Barry was born on February 1, 1956 in Charleston, Illinois and was a son of the late Wayne and Mary (Goodwin) Parker. He married Rebecca “Becky” Runge on August 8, 1992 and they have been blessed with over twenty years of a loving and devoted marriage and friendship. In addition to his wife Becky, Barry is survived by three children, Shad Parker of Charleston, Shane Parker and wife Tracy of Chapman, Kansas and Kaci Miles and husband Jeff of Moore, Oklahoma; five grandchildren, Isaac and Kaleb Parker of Chapman, Kaitlyn Parker of Mattoon and Kalli and Jarron Miles of Moore; three sisters, Barbara Vanatta and husband Jon, Carol Daniell and husband Michael and Terri Hildebrand and husband Bill, all of Charleston; a brother, Bud Parker of Charleston; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Robert and Sandra Runge of St. Peter, Illinois; and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law Bobbi Hagen and husband Darrell of Farina, Illinois, Steven Runge and wife Whitney of Mt. Zion, Illinois and Matthew Runge of St. Peter; and many nieces, nephews, and their families. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister, Sandra Dobbs and her husband Robert of Mattoon.
Barry was a graduate of Charleston High School – Class of 1974. For many years he was employed by Arkwright in Charleston and his last employment was with Kraft in Champaign. He was also a member of Charleston Moose Lodge #1388.
Barry was a sports enthusiast – he was a die-hard Chicago Cubs baseball fan who also enjoyed Chicago Bulls basketball, Chicago Blackhawks hockey, cheering for the Fighting Illini and following the NASCAR circuit along with his number one driver – Matt Kenseth. Barry and Becky both enjoyed history and traveling. Many of their trips allowed Barry to further research his family genealogy which was a hobby that he was dedicated to - through his extensive research he was able to trace his ancestry back to the 1700’s. Barry loved music and in the 1970’s and 1980’s he served as district manager for Disc Jockey Music which allowed him to assemble an extensive music library which included many of his favorites by bands such as the Beatles and The Doors. Barry was an excellent craftsman and a skilled woodworker and was able to use his ability to create and build wooden toy boxes for four of his five grandchildren.
There was never any doubt that Barry’s family – especially his children and grandchildren – were his number one priority in life. Even after his car accident and then with the signs of ALS beginning to surface Barry took a “no time for negativity” approach to life. His attitude remained positive, there was no complaining allowed, and he took advantage of each and every opportunity to be with those he loved – to play together, to laugh together and to create unforgettable memories together. He never forgot a friend and continued to nourish his many friendships. Barry’s example as a selfless loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather, family member and friend is to be cherished by all those he loved and who loved him.