Richard “Dick” Thomas Parker journeyed to his heavenly home on Nov. 3, 2020 after suffering complications of dementia. He leaves behind a legacy of love, devotion to God and family, good humor, and integrity. Funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020, at Resurrection University Catholic Parish, Bozeman. The service will be live streamed from:
Interment will be held at a later date.
Dick was born on July 14, 1939, in Shelby, Montana and spent his early childhood on the family ranch in Sweetgrass and his attachment to that special place never left him. The family later moved to Shelby and he graduated from Shelby High School in 1957. He attended Montana State College and graduated with degrees in Animal Science and Vo-Ag Education in 1961.
He married Charmaine McCormick on Aug. 26, 1961 at St. Williams Catholic Church in Shelby and always considered himself “a lucky guy” to spend his life with the woman he cherished.
The couple lived in Arizona for a few years shortly after they wed, while Dick served in the U.S. Army as a Pharmacy Specialist at Fort Huachuca. They settled in Bozeman when they moved back to Montana and built a home out in the Springhill area where he could enjoy a view of the mountains and the country life. He worked for the Farmer’s Home Adminis-tration of U.S. Department of Agriculture and thoroughly enjoyed his work, travel, and the friends he made during his 29-year career.
Dick always had a thankful attitude and believed God had blessed him with “everything a guy could want.” His generosity and kindness flowed from his grateful heart and his contagious joy and ready smile were also clear evidence of the character within him. He always had time to help a neighbor, spend time with friends, or give to someone in need. He had a deep appreciation for his family and said that having kids and grandkids was the “epitome of life.” He attended hundreds of his kids’ and grandkids’ sporting events, concerts, plays, birthday parties, and was always there with “Grandma” to help after grandchildren were born.
He loved God’s creation and would often pause in the field to inhale the smell of fresh cut alfalfa, listen to a Meadowlark sing, or watch a horse frisking in the wind. He always had a dog from the time “Spot” followed him around as a little boy in Sweetgrass and had an incredible way with animals. He enjoyed raising livestock, especially his little Welsh ponies. He became an avid golfer and competed in many senior golf tournaments after he retired. He enjoyed reading, history, art, music and dancing with his lifetime partner, Charmaine.
His Catholic faith was central in his life and he volunteered in many capacities at his home church, Resurrection Parish. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus, a long time 4-H leader, and served on the Belgrade School Board of Trustees. He was on the Board of Golf Course Partners for Bridger Creek Golf Course and was involved in NARFE.
Dick was deeply loved not only by his family, but by anyone who had the pleasure to know him. This affection was a natural response to how much he cared for those around him and how clearly he lived out his values. When you were with him, he let you know you were important and he inspired everyone to be the best they could be. His was a life well lived.
He is survived by his wife of over 59 years, Charmaine, and his six children: Craig (Kristi) Parker, Renee’ (Drew) Schoening, Denise (Lynn) Montgomery, Michael (Julie) Parker, Kristen (Mike) Cole, and Rebecca (Shane) Reno.
He is also survived by grandchildren: Briana, Kelton, Austin, Callie, Rachel, Peter, Carter, Riley, Seth, Alivia, Georgia, Tanna, Alec, Kaylee, Quinn, and Kale.
He is survived by siblings, Amber Alsup, Gary (Marilyn) Parker, Brenda (Gary) DeBray, and Vicki Parker; Uncle Jim (Mary) Parker, along with many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He is preceded in death by parents, George and Alice Parker, and granddaughter, Marin Rose.
The family is appreciative of the excellent care given by the staff at Spring Creek Inn. Also thanks to Dr. Michael Herring for his many years of attentive medical care.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Resurrection University Catholic Parish, Gallatin Valley Food Bank, or Montana 4-H Foundation.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares-.com.