July 2010

2010 Women of Courage

It’s summertime and many of us have already begun to travel or are planning to do so sometime soon. Let me make a suggestion. If you have never heard of Dr. Forest Bird or his wife Dr. Pamela Riddle Bird, please do a little “Googling.” It would take an entire book to list all their wonderful accomplishments, but they are the founders of the Bird Aviation and Invention Center in Sandpoint, Idaho. On Saturday, July 17, they are sponsering “Women of Courage.” This event will honor more than 20 of the 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots, or WASPS from WWII.

You can meet these wonderful women, get autographs, and most importantly, learn about an important part of our country’s history that is often overlooked. Admission is free and the event is open to the public. If you are anywhere near that part of the country, I can’t think of a better or more historic place to be on July 17. 

Bird Aviation Museum and Invention Center

Scams – Save Money on AA Batteries

Have you gotten this video in your email yet? I’ve gotten it a few times, and it’s time to stop the madness. The email and accompanying video show you how to open a $5 6 volt lantern battery and out pop 32 AA batteries, thus saving you a bunch of money.  One problem: it’s a hoax. Make that two problems if you really do try to pry the top off a 6 volt battery. Not funny, and not a good idea.

Vitamin D

I’ve long believed in the value of Vitamin D. Not so much the tablets, but from the sun. A good fifteen or twenty minutes out in the sunshine everyday has always been something I thought was healthy. Turns out that many scientific studies, including a major long-term study conducted in Finland has proved the case. It shows the value of Vitamin D from the sun and supplements in dramatically reducing the cases of Type II diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Most remarkable is the lowering of incidences of Parkinson’s disease by 67%. Let the sun shine in.


Thanks to those of you who tuned in to see Trisha and me on ABC’s The View From The Bay, on June 23. Special thanks to those of you who sent positive comments about our appearance.

June 23, The View From The Bay

Heartfelt Thank You

To everyone who sent an email or card, sent flowers, or said a prayer for my late father and our family, thank you. You will never know how much it meant to us. God bless you all.

John Parker                                                                                                                                                                       www.TheBestofOurLives.com

My father, Henry Franklin Parker, passed away on June 24. He left this world comforted and held by those who loved him. His life was an example for every person who had the opportunity to meet him. He was always kind and caring. He loved life and his family. Few people get or give so much in their lifetime.

I could go on and on writing about his life and courage serving our country in Guadalcanal during World War II,  overcoming a near fatal illness, working two jobs for thirteen years to provide for his family, years of supporting poor children in foreign countries, his basic decency, honesty and much more. Perhaps the most important example he leaves is that we are at our best when we are giving to others. He did that every moment of his life.

A few hours after dad passed, my mother, his loving wife Marty, was going through some papers she had saved throughout their sixty-five years of married life. She showed me a letter my father had written her on their 6th anniversary. It turns out my mom had taken my sister and I to visit relatives in Iowa that summer. Being so young, I barely remember being on that train called “The Limited.” Of course, dad had to stay behind and work, and since they could not be together on their anniversary, dad wrote mom a love letter. It was a poetic letter, written in pencil. My eyes filled with tears as I read the letter sent by dad when he was such a young man. We don’t often get such a revealing glimpse into what our parents were like as young persons. Turns out dad was exactly the same man his entire life. Within the letter, which was creatively filled with fun and love, was a separate little poem he wrote for the wife he adored. With her permission I want to share it with you. If the love revealed in this simple poem touches you, please share it with those you love. Dad would be so pleased.

Henry Franklin “Frank” Parker    

February 18, 1922 – June 24, 2010

Frank Parker was a very special man and to know him was to love him. Physically handsome and strong, he possessed a kind and gentle spirit, was consistently good natured, and had a playful sense of humor. Frank was a dedicated patriot who loved life, his friends, and most importantly, his family.

Born in the small farming town of Circleville, Kansas, his family eventually moved to Glendale, California. After a near fatal illness, he volunteered for the United States Naval Air Corps and served in Guadalcanal during WWII. Returning home after the war, he met and married the love of his life, Martha Reed. He and “Marty” shared 65 years of marriage loving every minute of their lives together. 

Settling back in Glendale, Frank established and managed his own successful business, Parker Building Maintenance. His clients were varied and ranged from pharmaceutical companies to major movie studios. Throughout his life he always found time to work for the local community from PTA to Little League. He loved baseball and even served as a Little League president for three years. Eventually selling his business, he became building maintenance supervisor for the new UCB building in Los Angeles, at the time the largest building west of the Mississippi. He ended his career as a supervisor at Windsor Manor retirement center in Glendale. Retiring to northern California, he spent the last eleven years living with family in Discovery Bay. In addition to family, Frank had a passion for cars, owning several classics throughout his lifetime. He also loved traveling, especially road trips with Marty. Together, they traveled through most of the U. S. Catch and release fishing from his dock in Discovery Bay was another hobby. He kept a record of each fish, and before his blindness ended that passion, he had tallied 6,002.

Frank and Marty were blessed with two children, five grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren. In addition to their own family, being persons of faith, they contributed to veteran’s organizations, Christian groups, and supported children in foreign countries for many years. They did this with never a mention to anyone about their generosity. Last July, as a tribute in celebration of his 87th birthday, the Los Angeles Dodgers invited Frank to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for a game at Dodger Stadium. His entire family attended and he declared it the best day of his life.

In addition to his loving wife Marty, Frank leaves behind the family he loved so dearly and who called him “Ace.” They include: son John Parker, his wife Trisha; daughter Sharon Uithoven; granddaughter Lisa Uithoven; grandson Michael, his wife Jennifer and children Lucy, Jack, and Charles; grandson Robert Uithoven, his wife Tammy and children Jeremy, Joshua, and Joel; grandson David Parker, his wife Michelle and son Liam; grandson Daniel Parker, his wife Michelle and daughter Juliette. In addition, Frank also leaves his beloved sister Shirley Nelson, and many nieces and nephews.

Rest in peace Ace, we love you.

John Parker                                                                                                                                                                          www.TheBestofOurLives.com