Friends, family pay tribute to former Montevallo mayor

By GINNY COOPER / Staff writer

MONTEVALLO – Former Montevallo Mayor Grady Parker, Sr. died Jan. 26, 2014 at the age of 89.

Family, friends and colleagues remember Parker as a genuine and caring man who made an enormous impact in his community.

J.A. Brown, who served on Montevallo City Council with Parker for more than three decades, said that Parker was an integral part of the city.

“He was a very, very nice fellow,” Brown said. “Very sweet. He did a really good job.”

Parker was selected as Montevallo Citizen of the Year in 1984 and Civic Leader of the Year in 2004.

He also served as Mayor of Montevallo from 1996 to 2006.

Montevallo Mayor Hollie Cost said that Parker was one of the first people she looked to for advice when she decided to enter politics.

“When I first thought about running for city council, he was one of the first people I talked to,” Cost said.

When running for mayor, Cost said that she was only one of many candidates to put her campaign sign in Parker’s yard.

“He was a really sweat, down to earth man,” Cost said.

Parker was also a charter member of the University Baptist Church in 1971 and served as deacon, treasurer and trustee during his 43 years at the church.

Colleen Colley, a charter member alongside Parker, said that he was a “very, very devoted member of the church.”

Parker graduated from Montevallo High School in 1942, and subsequently attended Auburn University until he was drafted in 1943.

After being honorably discharged as an Army veteran of WWII with two Purple Hearts, Parker went on to graduate from Auburn in 1949.

Upon returning to Montevallo, Parker became involved with a large variety of community organizations. He was involved in Montevallo High School athletics for over 40 years and was part of the Lions Club service organization.

In addition, Parker served on The Alabama Baptist newspaper board, Shelby County Board of Education, and the Shelby County Democratic Executive Committee. Parker was on the Montevallo City Council for over 32 years.

Parker’s memorial service was held at University Baptist Church Jan. 31. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made to University Baptist Church or The American Village in Montevallo.