We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Jacksonville
Cecil James Parker, loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, passed away on September 19th, 2022, at the age of 81, in Wilmington, NC. Cecil is survived by his wife, Mary Parker, his two daughters, Christy Thomas and Katrina (Tina) Parker, his son-in-law Walker Thomas, and his granddaughter Mollie Thomas. He is also survived by his siblings Pauline Padgett, Adrian Parker, Marie Crew, Judy Grafius, Vance Parker, and John Parker, as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents Vance and Lila Parker; his brothers Ernest Mitchell Parker, Lathan Parker, and JT Parker; and his sisters Jewel Overstreet, Hazel Bush, and Carolee Parker Lee.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, September 26th, at Jones Funeral Home in Holly Ridge, NC, with Reverend Bo Osborne officiating. Visitation will start at 12 p.m.
Cecil was born on January 15th, 1941, in Onslow County. In his professional life, he was an EMT, drove a school bus, co-owned a restaurant, served in the National Guard, and worked for many years in Auto Sales before retiring at the age of 72.
Cecil and Mary had a love story going back more than 50 years. She was the love of his life, his fiercest advocate, and his best friend. He was a wonderful and supportive father to their two daughters, comforting them through heartbreaks and disappointments and teaching them the power of kindness and the value of a properly maintained car. He also adored his only granddaughter Mollie, who was the true apple of his eye.
He served for many years as a deacon at Providence Baptist Church, where he was a faithful member of the church community. His core values were modeled on his belief in God and the power of Christ, and he demonstrated that love and kindness in his everyday life.
Cecil enjoyed a lot of things, among them seafood, yardwork, country music, crafting a good joke, reading Western novels, gardening, ice cream, breakfasts at City Cafe with his brothers and sisters on Wednesday mornings, listening to his daughters play piano, and, most importantly, quality time with the people he loved.
His diagnosis of Parkinson’s in recent years presented a lot of challenges, but he faced them head-on with grit, humor, and determination.
Cecil’s journey was a life well lived, and he made the world a better place. He will be very, very missed.