John C. Parker

John C. Parker passed away on January 11, 2022, at 86 years of age.John grew up in a large hard-working farming family in the Golden City/Lockwood area. They had a dairy farm which milked Jersey cows twice every day, but they also raised crops, hogs, chickens, and rabbits. Everyone had chores to do and knew what had to be done to keep such a large country family going. Growing up on a farm in a small country town, John was known as J.C. by most. He and his family attended the Golden City Christian Church where he, along with his five brothers, were all baptized together at the same time. He remembers how his mom, who played the piano at church, cried that day. Growing up with several brothers and sisters, there were many “good” stories to tell. All of John’s brothers and sisters, and his whole Parker family, were always very important to him. John attended Golden City schools until boundary lines moved and he attended Lockwood High School graduating with the Class of 1953. He loved his high school years. He played basketball with three brothers—one in each grade but all on the same team. He played football—he and Stanley were on the line and Melvin was in the backfield. For all the boys, their farm chores had to be done before they were allowed to go to their games. He had many good high school friends who continued to meet for Class Reunions for many years. After high school, John went to work in Springfield for a construction company digging holes for telephone poles by hand. After one year, he was asked to come back to work on the family farm. He then worked the farm with his dad for a few years. His younger brother, Stanley, then encouraged him to go with him to Barber School in Kansas City. They had to wait six months to get into a class they could both attend together during which time John worked at Corn Products. Together John and Stanley attended and graduated from Moler Barber College. While Stanley moved back to Golden City to work in a shop on Main Street (and is still cutting hair there today), John stayed in Kansas City. Another brother, Rex, then came and attended the same barber school and worked with John in the Kansas City area. John barbered in Kansas City for five years. When asked how the brothers learned to cut hair, they would tell you their dad bought them clippers for the Jersey cows. When they were good with the cows, they would practice on each other. During all this time, John served six years in the Army Reserves. John met his wife, Margie, in Kansas City while cruising thru drive-in restaurants in his convertible as this was the fun thing to do at that time. John and Margie were married in 1960. While in Kansas City, they had two daughters, Lori and Kelly. John then decided he wanted to have his own barber shop, with a large front window, so the family moved to Republic where John bought the shop on Main Street in 1965. He soon became know as “John the Barber”. His red ’65 Chevy pickup would serve for years as his open/closed sign. He never did have a telephone in his shop. Right after they moved to Republic, the family started attending the Republic First Christian Church on Main Street so that they could raise their family in the Christian faith. Two sons, Johnny and Joe, came along to complete John’s family. As all his kids attended and graduated from Republic, school activities and school sports became an important part of his life as well. The Parker home was a good one. Over the years as the kids grew up and had families of their own, the Parker home became the Gathering Place for family time. Not only for family but also for friends of the kids, of the grand-kids and anyone else who might happen to show up. A game of basketball on the driveway was not uncommon. There always seemed to be enough room and enough food to go around. By cutting hair for 55 years in Republic, he was able to build a home for his family, buy his 1965 red and white Chevrolet pick-up and buy some cows to raise. He worked 12-hour days in his barber shop, Tuesday thru Saturday, always wanting to be available if a customer needed a haircut. He took weekend “vacations” with his family to Kansas City and St. Louis. With much convincing, he took one family week-long vacation to Florida, which once he was past the state line, he enjoyed thoroughly--especially the beach and looking for shells. Many of his Sunday and Mondays were spent working his cows, helping his brothers in Golden City, helping his kids with projects, working the garden or around the house. You could always count on John to show up if there was work to be done whether you knew he was coming or not. This was truly his love language.John could watch from his barber shop window the many changes that took place on Main Street over the last 55 years. Many customers coming in for haircuts would come in and still see the barber shop they knew from getting their own hair cut as a child, remembering the Tootsie roll and Dum-Dum sucker they would receive afterward. His shop did not change much over the years except when a customer would add some “conversation piece” to the walls. John enjoyed being a barber in Republic because he enjoyed his customers so much and the conversations they would have together. John had one family that he was able to serve as their barber for five-generations. He always said he had made the right decision to come to Republic. Joe then came and started cutting hair in the shop with John, and he was proud to be working together with his son.In 1988, it is said that John had a heart attack which saved his life. He worked hard at the shop and at the farm, but he realized he needed to listen to his doctor. He always said, “I can only do what I know to do, and the rest is in the Good Lord’s hands”. He became an avid walker—1 mile a day, like the doctor told him. If he knew he couldn’t walk on a day, he would make it up on the next. At that time, he and Maynard Cohick (who jogged) were about the only two people you would see out walking in Republic for their health. He has since walked many miles, and usually walked after a day of work and having fed the cows. He had a stroke 32 years later, which kept him from returning to the barbershop. It then took him over a year to admit he was retired. He then focused on time with his family. Almost a day didn’t go by that he didn’t see at least one child, grandchild, or great grandchild and sometimes several. Playing cards, watching the little great grandkids play in his backyard, Rummy Royal, family dinners, Braum’s, sitting and visiting, swinging on the back porch, raising rabbits, grandkid ball games when able, making hand-cranked homemade ice cream, keeping an eye on Johnny taking care of his cows, Sunday morning breakfast with family and online church and drives in the country were special times for him. Never wanting to miss anything the family offered, he was always willing to go and do, even if it wasn’t as easy as it used to be. John passed away, peacefully in his sleep, in his home he shared with Margie for many, many years—a home full of happy, precious memories. And now, sitting in the driveway, his old red pickup truck can rest. As his son said, “He lived and loved well”. Survivors include his wife, Margie of the home; two sons, John (Krisi) C. Parker, Jr. of Republic, Joe (Kelly) Parker of Battlefield; two daughters, Lori (Jeff) Robinson and Kelly Christian both of Republic; brothers, Stanley (Henrietta) Parker of Golden City, Jim (Lois) Parker of Lockwood, and Jerre (Maureen) Parker of Houston, Texas; step-brother, Bob (Anh) Bitney of Texas; step-sister Janis Kasper of Harrisonville; sisters-in-law Betty Parker, Marlene Parker, Bonnie Parker all of Golden City and Ann Parker of South Greenfield, Mo. Grandchildren include Brooke (Seth) Snowden, Jessi (Dylan) Barnum, Marcus Robinson, Sean Kendrick, Kristina (Payton) Spence, Jake (Marissa) Parker, Chad Parker, Scott Parker, Anna (Jacob) Davis, and Laighton Parker. Great grandchildren include Parker, Jaci, Finley, Ruthie, Colt, Nellie, Maclin, Quinci, Chloe, Cora, Carson and Bohdy. Included also is a large extended family, many friends, and customers. John was preceded in death by his parents Earl and Ilah Parker; stepmother, Irene Parker; brothers, Alden Parker, Norman Parker, Melvin Parker, and Rex Parker; sisters, Loretta Gardner, Reba Oberman and Lynda Cearnal; and brothers-in-law, Guy Gardner, Ron Oberman, Bob Cearnal and Ralph Kasper.In lieu of flowers, please make any contributions to the First Christian Church, 443 North Main, P.O. Box 302, Republic, Missouri, 65738.


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


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