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John Francis Parker

Champion of justice, loving patriarch

John Francis Parker, a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan who previously lived in Claremont, died April 5, 2017 after a brief illness. He was 88.

Born in Los Angeles in 1929 to Ignatius and Helen Parker, he lived most of his life in southern California before moving to Grand Rapids in 1998. Mr. Parker graduated from St. Agnes High School in Los Angeles and earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Loyola University in Los Angeles and a Juris Doctor from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.

He served as a lieutenant with the United States Army in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps during the Korean War era. He was a founding partner at the law firm of Parker and Irwin in southern California and also the president of Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

After retiring from the practice of law, he served as a judge and then as presiding judge of the Workers’ Compensation Court in San Bernardino. He was a devoted husband, brother, father, grandfather and friend.

John was predeceased by his wife of 61 years, Mary Ann (Kirkpatrick) Parker. He is survived by his sister, Sister Mary Augustine, O.P. of the Monastery of the Angels in Karachi, Pakistan; daughter Kathleen Ann Parker of Seal Beach; son John Patrick Parker and his wife Elizabeth of Ada, Michigan; and four grandchildren, Stephanie Parker Ahlstrand (David) of Huntington Beach, Michael Parker Johnson (Vanessa) of Whittier, and Madeline Anne Parker and John Francis “Jack” Parker, both of Ada, Michigan.

He also leaves four great-grandchildren, Michael Gabriel Johnson, Olivia Marie Johnson, David Parker Ahlstrand and Elle Lingwall Ahlstrand.

The Mass of Christian Burial was held Monday, April 10 at St. Robert of Newminster Parish in Ada, Michigan.