Thomas Williamson Parker, advertising manager of TLC for 13 years, died November 7 after a prolonged struggle with cancer. He was 53.
Parker was a native of Milwaukee and a graduate of Southern Methodist University. Before joining TLC he worked for Entercom Radio in Milwaukee and for Second Harvest of Chicago. For years he was a territory account manager for General Mills.
“Tom cherished the time he spent with his boys as Scout leader, Tai Kwon Do dad, and homework chairman,” said an obituary prepared by his family. “Love of music was a huge part of Tom’s life. Tom and Elizabeth had their first date at a Hootie and the Blowfish concert, and thereafter enjoyed many happy hours front and center at concerts of their favorite bands.”
“Tom Parker was an extraordinary person,” said David Kalvelage, retired executive editor of TLC, who hired Parker in 2001. “His offbeat sense of humor was a gift to his coworkers, and he maintained it even as his condition worsened. Tom was able to balance work and parenthood and find time for a huge amount of interests. He will be greatly missed by the TLC family.”
“Tom was a faithful friend, a servant, and a stalwart team player. Ever with a hint of mischief, he delivered on his commitments and had the back of his colleagues,” said Christopher Wells, editor of TLC. “Rarely have I known someone of such loyalty and uncontrived compassion. We miss him sorely.”
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Fellenbaum Parker; sons Hatton and Ian; his mother, Sophie Nash Riddick Parker; his twin brother, the Rev. Charles W. Parker III; sisters Porter Parker Hutto and Caroline Parker Robertson; and five nephews.
A celebration of Parker’s life is scheduled for 3 p.m. November 14 at St. Mark’s Church, 2618 N. Hackett Ave. Milwaukee. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes contributions to the Hatton and Ian Parker Education Fund, Chase Bank 111 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202, or the Tom Parker Family Foundation (PayPal).