John D. Parker

November 15, 2018

Our father, John D. Parker, passed away in our home in Canton, MO on Saturday morning, November 10, 2018, at the age of 76.

How do you put into words what makes a man?  There are plenty of adjectives that would suit our father: strong, intelligent, wise, hard-working, funny, handsome, modest.  But above all, the one that stands out the most, is loving.  John Parker was a loving, caring man.  He embodied everything that characterizes the word “love”.  Above all, his family was the most important thing to him and we loved him deeply and wholly.

Dad grew up on a dairy farm in Polo, MO with his parents Paul and Venita, his grandparents Bert and Clona, and his brother Bob.  He made lifelong friends in a small school, where he captained the football team and played basketball.  He treasured taking his ‘57 Chevy on numerous road trips to the nearest “big towns” of Chillicothe and Hamilton.  After graduating from high school the roads took him to Northwest Missouri State, and later to Culver-Stockton College, where he would meet the love of his life.

Dad was drafted into the United States Army during the Vietnam War.  He served his country on the battlefield with strength, courage, and pride.  He carried a photo of our mother with him at all times, while in Vietnam.  He told us, “I’d look at that picture and remember what I was fighting to get home to.”

He married our mother, Kae Smith, in 1968.  You could not picture a more perfect couple. Inseparable from the beginning, Dad didn’t do anything without our mother right by his side.  Up until the end of his life, that sentiment never changed: he wanted to do what Kae wanted to do.  This November 30th, they would have celebrated 50 years of marriage.  This is confirmation of the bond that they shared and a love that stood the test of time.

Mom and Dad had three children: Amy Elizabeth, Katherine Frazier, and John Matthew.  There is no doubt that our father’s crowning achievement in life was caring for his children.  Even in a time when gender standards maintained that the wife stay at home with the kids, our father took pride in being, “Mr. Mom,” and there wasn’t a caretaker on this planet who could match him.

Although he wasn’t sure if he’d ever have grandchildren, his daughter Kate saved the day, by having three beautiful children: Mia Frazier, Maddox Aaron William, and Quinn Elizabeth.  If we didn’t emphasize enough how proud he was of having children, let us tell you how much he loved his grandkids who affectionately coined him “Poppy”.  He truly lived for his grandchildren in his later years.  If it was even possible, his mustached grin got even larger than normal when they were visiting Ahma and Poppy’s house. 

Although sometimes unassuming, our father was by far the most endearing, empathetic, and compassionate man that you could ever meet.  This didn’t just show through his actions, but by the actions of the people that he interacted with and impacted.  We know that almost every person who knew our dad, would have a story to tell about him.  Those stories may vary greatly, but I guarantee that they included a sideways grin, a contagious chuckle, a wisecracking comment, an eye-rolling “dad joke”, or a belly laugh.  Put simply, our father was a great man.  He was what many men only aspire to be.  He was a man that we called “Dad”, and that is the highest honor that a man can receive.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. at the Davis Funeral Home in Canton with Rev. David Yonker officiating.  Visitation will be held Saturday from 12:30 p.m. until time of services in the funeral home.

The family suggests memorials be made to the James E. Cary Cancer Center in Hannibal, MO.

Online condolences may be left at

Honorary Pallbearers will be: Gary Smith, Jeffrey Smith, Adam Bevans, Brandon Hoftyzer, Bill Berry, George Harris, Ralph Streeter, and Mike Haugg.