Feb. 26, 1943 — April 5, 2014
Ronald James Parker, a Placerville resident since 1975, passed away peacefully in his home with his close family by his side on April 5, 2014. He was born on Feb. 26, 1943, to Bayard and Edith Parker in Oakland, Calif., and raised in San Leandro, where he graduated from high school in 1961.
After graduation, Ron found employment with Gerber Cannery, General Motors and as a carpenter’s apprentice. Upon graduating from truck driving school in Compton, Calif., he joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in 1966. While working out of the Union Hall off the A and B lists, Ron being well liked by the dispatchers worked a variety of truck driving jobs, including Stewart Drayage, King County Truck Lines Western Milk and Lucky Stores, from which he retired after 25 years. His strong beliefs in the Teamsters and wanting to defend the Brotherhood led him to become shop steward, where he negotiated several contracts.
Ron achieved an early retirement after being a 30-year Teamster Union member. He joined his wife in owning and managing a local restaurant, Tortilla Flats. His passion for the road led him to purchase his own big rig, creating RJP Transport, where he taught his son, Jade, how to drive and they delivered to 11 western states. After that he worked for California Sierra Express as their Equipment Coordinator until he truly retired in 2010.
Ron enjoyed Wild West cowboys, guns, military battles and steam engine trains. He developed an interest in Sprint Car racing with Jade and created Parker Racing. They raced their 24 car at Placerville Speedway and followed the Civil War Series. He loved classic cars. He restored a 1968 Camaro into an award-winning 8-second dragster. His enthusiasm for cars carried over to his daughter, Maylee, and with her ’68 Camaro they cruised town and entered car shows. During a blackout snowstorm, by candlelight Maylee and her husband taught Ron the game of Texas Hold’Em. He became a regular player at Red Hawk and loved playing poker tournaments with the family. He especially loved watching his grandsons, Austin, Bracen and Blake, grow up. He enjoyed planning the many vacations that he and Genie traveled.
Ron is survived by the love of his life, his wife of 38 years, Yougenie “Genie” Parker; his children, Richard Parker, Deborah Richardson, Jade (Crystal) Parker and Maylee (Jamie) Sullivan; six grandchildren, Amanda, Michael, Dezeree, Austin, Bracen and Blake; one great-granddaughter, Nagelle; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Kenneth and Clifford; daughter, Asia; and son, Noah. He also leaves behind his dog, Wyatt “Wy Wy” Parker.
A celebration of Ron’s life will be held Friday, May 9, at 1 p.m., at Green Valley Community Church, 3500 Missouri Flat Road in Placerville, with a reception to follow. In lieu of floral arrangements please honor Ron’s love for potted plants or donate in his memory to Green Valley Community Church.