Cover photo for John Michael Parker's Obituary
John Michael Parker Profile Photo
1945 John 2023

John Michael Parker

October 19, 1945 — March 30, 2023

Gardner

John Michael Parker, 77, passed away at home in Gardner, MA on March 30th.

John was born to Ruth K. Parker on October 19th, 1945. He grew up in Franklin, MA with the love of his mother, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. He enjoyed sharing memories of his childhood. He spoke of his mother, Ruth’s, overly enthusiastic driving, time spent with Ruth on Cape Cod, visiting the family drugstore with his grandfather, Michael Kearney, and working there with his uncle, Bob Kearney.

John served in the Army in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star for his service. He earned a BA in Special Education from Fitchburg State University and later, Masters degrees from Bentley College and Assumption College. His contributions within the Jaycees of Leominster were recognized with a Senatorship Award. He and his wife also volunteered with the Special Olympics. This sense of service connected to his working life. John was a counselor for Catholic Charities and ended his professional career as a social worker at Community Health Link, helping people in times of extreme stress through their Emergency Services office (where all who worked with him agreed, his handwriting was atrocious).
 
He met Linda Parker nee Cranshaw when he completed his student teaching at the school where she worked. Their relationship began when she sold him two puppies, and they married in 1975. Love of dogs extended throughout their 47 years of marriage. They enjoyed breeding Border Terriers, attending and participating in dog shows, Earthdog, barn hunt, and nose work events. John trained one of their dogs as a therapy animal and became an Earthdog judge. Travels and socializing often revolved around canine events. They also enjoyed bird watching during their trips. 

John was known for having an understanding ear and a dry, wicked sense of humor. He loved to read and was rarely without a book. He had a green thumb; growing vegetables, flowers and berry patches that attracted the wildlife and the neighbors. John loved soccer; teaching his children, attending and refereeing youth games, following the US national team and the New England Revolution Soccer team.

John is survived by his wife, Linda; daughter Melissa Tippens and husband Todd; daughter Meaghann Babineau and husband Kevin; grandchildren Mikayla, Etta, Ari, and Joseph; and great-grandchild Mason.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in his honor to either Care Central VNA and Hospice, 34 Pearly Lane, Gardner, MA 01440 or to the Greater Boston Area Earthdog Club, C/o Nancy Goldman, 9 Megan Court, Milford, MA 01757.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Michael Parker, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

4:00 - 6:00 pm (Eastern time)

Mack Family Funeral Homes - Lamoureux Smith & Polks Chapel

105 Central St., Gardner, MA 01440

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Mass

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

St. Theresa of Lisieux Parish

35 S Main St, Sherborn, MA 01770

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Burial

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Starts at 11:15 am (Eastern time)

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