Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
David Parker, USAF
April 29, 1944 – March 20, 2022
David Joel Parker died on March 20, 2022 in a Cessna plane crash in a remote and mountainous area of Kauai, Hawaii. He and his co-pilot, who also died in the crash, were volunteering with the Hawaii wing of the Civil Air Patrol.
David was 77. Born in Midland, MI. On April 29, 1944, David grew up in Middleville, MI., the son of Arnold and Adele Parker. Known as “Ace” throughout his school years. David was often to be found on a sports field or enjoying the outdoors. He received his bachelor degree from Michigan State University in business and entered the United States Air Force in 1967. He proudly served his country as a decorated Captain in the Vietnam War, flying rescue helicopters and reconnaissance planes. Flying became his greatest passion.
After serving in the Air Force, David went into business with his father and brother Steve at their metal finishing firm, Walgren Company, where he was responsible for sales, general management and Walgren West. After 20 years there, he bought Walgren West and renamed it Parker Systems, a chemical analysis company that he led for 7 years before selling it to Applied Materials and retiring to his ranch in Pagosa Springs, CO.
Beginning in 2013, David split his time between Yuma, AZ. And Kauai, and in 2018 he joined the Civil Air Patrol in Kauai to continue flying and serve his community. In his final years, David spent his summers in Middleville with his son and family and in the winter he retreated to Kauai.
David is survived by his son David(Jaime), daughter Amy, siblings Sally, Patrick, Stephen, Cindy(Gregg) and seven grandchildren, Chloe, Makayla, Emma, Laken, Sylvia, Evelyn and Selene.
Interment will be in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Middleville.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Adele & Arnold Parker Family Fund, Thornapple Area Enrichment Foundation, P.O. Box 164, Middleville, MI 49333 or Www.thornapplefoundation.org. Published by Grand Rapids Press from Mar. 29 to Apr. 3, 2022.
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