Parker a dedicated man

Published 10:25 am Friday, January 8, 2010

A short conversation with Grady Parker leaves no doubt that he is one loyal and patriotic individual dedicated to his family, country and community.

Parker came to Montevallo in 1939, entered the ninth grade and graduated from Montevallo High School in 1942.

A call to service interrupted his freshman year at Auburn. He served in the U.S. Infantry for the next three years.

He looks at those years philosophically as a job that had to be done. After basic training and ranger school, he went directly into combat —was injured twice in the Normandy Invasion and still carries the souvenir shrapnel in his shoulder.

After each injury he was sent back into combat and remained there until the end of the war.

Parker distinguished himself with many medals including two purple hearts, a bronze star for bravery, good conduct medals and the European-American medal. He was decorated by the country of France for helping liberate that country.

He was discharged in October of 1945, entered Auburn University, and gained his degree in business.

Upon graduation, the natural thing for Parker to do was to return to Montevallo, the place he loved best. His first job was in insurance. Later he worked for the Post Office for 22 years as a rural carrier and assistant postmaster.

After perusing the many girls on the Alabama College campus, his wise choice was the beautiful young Ann Kohen from Mobile. They married in the early 1950’s and enjoyed a happy family life with their children, Courtney and Rigg.

Parker always took his civic responsibilities seriously. He served the city as councilman and then as mayor for a total of 32 years until his retirement in 2004.

“I like people and like dealing with them—enjoyed every minute serving Montevallo,” he said. “I had a good council and always had good people to work with.”

Parker is still very involved in community life where he has an enviable history of service. He is a charter member of the University Baptist Church where he was deacon in charge of finance for many years.

He was a trustee of the local schools for a number of years and has also been very active in the Democratic Party.

Last, but certainly not the least, of his loyalties lies with his alma mater. He proudly points to a quilt made of Auburn logos and talks about the recent bowl game the Tigers won “three times.”

For the last few months this old warhorse has been tethered because of health problems, but he expects to be back on the trail again soon, and he enjoys having friends drop by.

Catherine Legg can be reached at