Norman Baskin Parker of Piedmont, AL passed away July 14, 2019. He will be buried at Piedmont Memory Gardens with full military honors following services at Dansby Heritage Chapel in Piedmont on Thursday, July 18. Visitation begins at 12 pm with services at 2 pm. Pastors Kenneth Byford and Garry Brown will officiate. Norman was born in Centre, AL on May 6, 1939. Following his graduation from White Plains High School, he joined the U.S. Navy and retired after 26 years of service. Norman served aboard the USS Intrepid “Fighting I” aircraft carrier during the Vietnam War, was an air traffic controller, Naval career information coordinator, and ultimately earned the rank of E-9, Command Master Chief at NAS Meridian, Mississippi, which was his final duty station. During his career, he was honored with the National Defense Service Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross), Commander of the Naval Forces (Marianas) Commendation, Navy Commendation Medal, and numerous Good Conduct Awards. He was also a member of Lozahatchie Masonic Lodge # 97. Norman is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Doris (Hightower) Parker; daughter Rhonda Parker (Mark Calegari), and son Norman “Bo” Parker. He is the proud grandfather of Kayla and Ben Parker and Connor and Christian Calegari. He is also survived by his brothers Tom Parker, Charles (Charlotte) Chandler, Mike Chandler, sister Paulette Haney, and a host of wonderful nieces and nephews. Honorary pallbearers are Ray Glover, Bobby Glover, William Clinton Hightower, Henry Barnwell, Jerre Lett, William McPhaul, Archie Floyd, Don Johnson, and Bruce Wallace. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sylvester Benjamin Parker and Ruth Chandler, brother Barlow Parker; and sister Vernell Yancey. Norm had many passions in life, among them were his love for White Plains High School where he was vice-president of the alumni association and a long-time member of the White Plains Over the Hill Gang. His dedication to Alabama football is legendary: those who knew him well were accustomed to him beginning and ending phone calls with the phrase “Roll Tide.” Norm spent much of his life rescuing animals and supporting animal advocacy groups, among them the Calhoun County chapter of AVRAL (Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation). His most storied rescue occurred nine years ago when he pulled a cute but vicious tiny Pekingese off of Birmingham Animal Control’s “death row”: Duffy the Aggressor. They became the best of friends. Although Duffy has bitten all but 5 people he’s encountered in his life, Norm was his staunchest defender. As the end drew near for Norm, Duffy never left his bedside. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Norman’s honor may be made to Piedmont Cumberland Presbyterian Church (address: 23746 AL-9, Piedmont, AL 36272) or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (https://www.stjude.org/donate/now) Dansby Heritage Chapel is honored to serve the Parker Family.
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