Bobby Ray Parker, 67, of Ludowici, Ga., and formerly Orange Park, Fla., passed away Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, at Wayne Memorial Hospital under the care of Hospice of South Georgia with his family by his side. He fought a courageous battle over cancer for more than 21 years.
Bobby was predeceased by his parents, Ray and Margaret Parker; his sister, Amanda Parker Brown and her husband, Marlin; and faithful border collie, Sampson.
Survivors include his wife of 42 years, Bobbie Ann Bethel Parker; daughter, Kelli Amanda and her guide dog, Dalton, and grandson, Brandon Ray of Orlando, Fla.; special niece, Missy and her family Damon, Clint and Caleigh Kennedy; many cousins, nieces and nephews; and his "best buddy," Maggie Raye.
Bobby Ray was born April 17, 1946. He is a 1964 graduate of Ludowici High School and was invited to try out for the Pittsburgh Pirates farm team. He went to Brewton Parker College on a basketball scholarship, transferred to Georgia Southern College, and graduated from Armstrong Atlantic University with a BBA in marketing/management.
He served six years in the Georgia Army National Guard, Glennville, Ga., and was a member of the 164th Heavy Equipment Maintenance Co.
Bobby began his career with Union Camp Corp., Savannah, Ga., in the transportation department from 1967-1972. He was with Smith and Kelly Co. as container manager from 1972-1976. He returned to Union Camp/International Paper Co. Chemical Group/Arizona Chemical, Jacksonville, Fla., in 1976, retiring in 2001 with more than 30 years of service. Bobby traveled the world as their global logistics manager. He was a member of the U.S. Hazardous Materials Advisory Council, Washington, D.C., working closely with legislators on regulations for transporting hazardous materials. He also was a member of the Pulp Chemical Association.
After his retirement, he and his wife moved back to the family farm in Ludowici to spend his final years with his extended family. Bobby loved to fish, hunt and watch and attend NASCAR races and Jacksonville Jaguar football games until his health prevented him from doing so. He spent his days riding his tractor and his "4-wheeled" mule. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and dogs. He will be deeply missed by all who loved him.
Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. today, Oct. 16, 2013, at Jones Creek Baptist Church, Ludowici, Ga.
His funeral will be 11 a.m. Thursday at the church, with visitation one hour prior. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Damon Kennedy, Bob Lynn, Jeffrey Dasher, Terry Smith, Bert Herrin and Sheriff Craig Nobles.
Honorary pallbearers will be Billy Joe Parker, Jimmy Parker, Jimmy Dasher, Eddie Dasher, Larry Manecke, Don Dasher and Jared Lynn.
Remembrances may be made to Hospice of South Georgia, 1625 Sunset Blvd., Jesup, GA 31545, or Jones Creek Baptist Church where he was a member.
Howard Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Family and friends may sign the online register at www.howardfuneralga.com.