Thomas E. “Tommy” Parker, 88, of McComb died Feb. 9, 2020, at McComb Nursing and Rehab.
Visitation will be 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and continue from 10 a.m. Thursday until services at 11 at Hartman-Jones Funeral Home of McComb. Dr. Jimmy Porter, Bro. Phillip Alford, and Rev. Gary Shows will officiate. A family burial will follow at Hollywood Cemetery.
Tommy was born Dec. 27, 1931, in McComb. He was the son of the late Thomas Jewel Parker and the late Gussie Beacham Parker.
He graduated from McComb High School in 1950. He later earned a B.A. degree from Millsaps College, where he starred on the football and baseball teams.
After college, he served in the United States Naval Reserves.
Tommy was a member of First Baptist Church in McComb, where he served as a deacon for many years, as well as serving on numerous pulpit committees in order to find a pastor when the time came. He also worked at the church’s Family Life Center from 2005-2011.
He was a member of the inaugural board of directors at Southwest Regional Medical Center, a position he held until 1984. He worked along with his father and sons at Parker Auto Parts from 1956 to 1997.
He was a member of the McComb Lions Club for 34 years and a director at First Bank in the mid-1960’s.
Tommy was widely known by family and friends in the area for his accomplishments on the athletic field. Big 8 Conference coaches selected him first- team halfback at McComb High in 1948. The publication Mississippi State Reflector bestowed the same honor in 1949. MHS was Big 8 champion in football both years. He also played baseball at McComb.
He also starred on the gridiron at Millsaps, where he was selected to the All-Dixie Conference team in 1951 alongside former Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden. He was starting left halfback on two conference championship teams at Millsaps.
While on the Millsaps baseball team, he defeated Delta State in a game where he pitched “windmill,” a feat columnist Rick Cleveland once wrote about.
He later played and coached the then- Mechanics State Bank softball teams from 1959 until 1964, winning state championships in 1961, 1962 and 1963. He was voted Most Valuable Player in the state in fast pitch softball in 1960. He was honored in 2003 by the All-American Football Foundation and selected to the Millsaps Hall of Fame the same year.
Tommy married Mary Ruth Brasher of Jackson in 1956.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Charles Edward Parker; a special nephew, Parker Voss; and a daughter-in-law, Laury Robison Parker.
He is survived by his three sons, Brian (Cathy) of Amite County and his children Kenny Parker, Kimberly Parker (Chris) Brown, and Kendra Parker; Brad (Dee) Parker of Cumming, Ga., and their children, Hailey and Claire; David Parker of McComb and his daughter Avery; and his sister Jean (Bill) Voss of McComb.
Pallbearers will be Warner Alford, Ronnie Wilkinson, Gregg Harbison, Philip Alford, Greg Cullom, Larry Dorr, Dr. Billy Moore and Jerry Fortenberry.
Honorary pallbearers will be Bobby Darville, Shelton Whittington, Rev. John Moody, Chad Reed, Pigeon Wilkinson, Jimmy Dale Clark, Betty Jo Hewitt, Carroll Case, Mattie Rials and the library staff, Paula Alford, Bob Hemeter and Joe Cornacchione.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the charity of choice.
The family would like to give special thanks to St. Luke’s Hospice, McComb Nursing and Rehab, Ronnie and Pigeon Wilkinson, Stat Care Plus, and Professional Rehab Associates.