Date of death: 12/6/2017

Saint Meinrad Class: O 1964

The Rev. William C. Parker, a priest for almost a half century who served parishes throughout the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo, died Dec. 6 in Mercy Health St. Vincent Medical Center. He was 79.Father Parker died after experiencing complications from a fall that led to pneumonia, his family said.Born Nov. 12, 1938, to Carroll and Vivian Parker, he grew up in East Toledo, then graduated from Our Lady of the Lake Seminary in Lake Wawasee, Ind.He went on to obtain a bachelor of arts degree from St. Meinrad Seminary in Spencer County, Ind., and later received a master of education degree.After ordination in 1964 as a priest of the Toledo diocese, his first assignment was associate pastor of St. John Parish and principal of St. John High School in Delphos, Ohio.ôHe was a good man and a hard-working pastor,ö said Msgr. Michael Billian, who worked with Father Parker and was a friend of his for more than 30 years. ôHe had a lot of concern for young people and their education. He was keenly interested in that area.öAfter his first assignment, Father Parker served as the associate pastor of Christ the King Parish and as an instructor at Cardinal Stritch High School in Oregon.Father Parker served as the pastor of several Ohio parishes, including Our Lady of Lourdes in Genoa; St. Jude in Toledo; St. Catherine of Siena in Toledo, and St. John in Lima.He was the longtime national chaplain to the Catholic Alumni Club International.ôHe was dedicated,ö Monsignor Billian said. ôHe was always around, he was always present and made sure he reached out to other people.öFather Parker wanted to be a priest since childhood, said his sister, Vivian Johnson.ôI think he wanted to be a priest all his life,öshe said. ôI can remember as a kid we use to play Mass in our living room. He just loved the Lord.öEven when he began suffering chronic back problems, Father Parker would visit people ill people at their homes.ôHe cared very much for the sick,ö Monsignor Billian said. ôWhen he physically had great trouble, he was still dedicated to service.öWhen he wasnÆt working for the church, Father Parker enjoyed playing golf. He and a group of priests made annual golfing trips to Florida, stopping at golf courses along the way, the monsignor said.ôHe was actually a really good golfer.öFather Parker is survived by his sister, Vivian Johnson.