Obituary – Hugh Parker

Nov 1st, 2021 | By | Category: News, Obituaries

Walking Horse enthusiast Hugh Henderson Parker, 86, of Winchester, Tennessee., died Friday, October 15, 2021, at Ascension St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mr. Parker is survived by his two daughters, Mary Parker Bernard, of Nashville, and Laura Parker Zontek, of Winchester, and their husbands, Chris Bernard and Tommy Zontek, respectively. Mr. Parker is also survived by six grandchildren: Isaac Marion McGee, age 24, and his wife, Keely; Caleb Henderson McGee, age 21; Jared Parker McGee, age 17; Susanna Grace Bernard, age 18; Seth Parker Bernard, age 16; and Spencer Christian Bernard, age 16.
Survivors also include Mr. Parker’s two sisters, Patricia Eisenbeis, of Murfreesboro, Tn., and Judith Spain, and her husband, Vic, of White Marsh, Va. He also leaves behind three nephews, one niece, two great nephews, and six great nieces, and dozens of friends whom he loved like his family.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 46 years, Frances Spencer Parker; his parents, Hugh Leonard Parker and Maxine Henderson Parker; and his brother, Garry Benjamin Parker, all of Flat Creek.
Hugh Parker was born and grew up in the Flat Creek community; throughout his lifetime, Mr. Parker farmed hundreds of acres of land and owned hundreds of cattle. He graduated from Central High School in Shelbyville, Tn., and served in Verdun, France, and Murnau, Germany, with the United States Army from 1955 to 1957. He attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro before accepting a position to sell farm equipment for the Gehl Company in 1960. His primary territory was Tennessee and Kentucky, and he traveled during the week to service equipment dealer accounts while farming on the weekends.
In 1981, he was promoted to regional sales manager, when he supervised district sales managers throughout the southeast. He won numerous sales awards, including the prestigious R.M. “Dick” Gehl Top Performer Award in 1973. He retired from Gehl in 1990 and then spent almost 25 years farming full-time in Flat Creek.
Having never met a stranger, Mr. Parker was known for remembering names and faces, always being ready with a funny story to tell, and offering an eager and helping hand to anyone in need. He was happiest around the people and places he loved—working the hayfield or taking care of his animals; running errands with his dog, Mikey; talking to his grandsons about the farm; celebrating holidays surrounded by family and good, southern food; watching a ballgame or car race with a friend; cheering on his favorite horse and rider at a horse show; or spending the afternoon on the front porch watching the birds and squirrels.
A treasured asset to his community, Mr. Parker was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where he served for several terms as a deacon. He also helped build the Flat Creek Volunteer Fire Department building and volunteered as a firefighter.
The Tennessee Walking Horse industry was very important to Hugh Parker. During his lifetime, he owned/exhibited Walking Horses, and in his later years, he enjoyed cheering on his grandson, Isaac McGee. Some of Mr. Parker’s dearest friendships were created through this industry. He was proud to tell anyone that he attended every Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration except for the two years he was overseas serving in the United States Army.
He enjoyed a simple life and only ever wanted to be surrounded by loved ones and God’s creation. He had a strong work ethic, valued loyalty and honesty in his friends, and instilled a sense of selflessness in his children and grandchildren.
He could repair almost anything with a motor, he grilled a delicious steak, and his sense of humor and light-hearted nature made him truly unforgettable; everyone he met fell in love with him.
We celebrate the life and death of Hugh Parker, husband, father, and Papa.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” —Psalm 116:15
Mr. Parker’s funeral service was held on Wednesday, October 20th at the Doak Howell Funeral Home. Burial followed the service at Rosebank Cemetery on New Herman Road in Flat Creek, Tn.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in memory of Hugh be made to one of the following:

The Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation
PO Box 11263
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Donations may also be made through the TWHF Endowment Fund at

Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association
O. Box 1046
Shelbyville, TN 37162

Flat Creek Volunteer Fire Department
2173 Hwy 82 South
Shelbyville, TN 37160

Flat Creek Community Center
c/o Diana Stokes
2408 Hwy 82 South
Shelbyville, TN 37160

The Scoop sends our warmest condolences to the family of Hugh Henderson Parker.


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