Robert Steven Parker, 69, of Surfside Beach, South Carolina, passed away Sunday, June 12, 2022, surrounded by his adoring family. Born in Lancaster, PA, “Bob” was the son of late Richard W. Parker and Mildred C. Parker. He was married to his wife of 33 years, Melody I. Parker.
Bob began playing the accordion at the age of 7 while also teaching himself how to play the piano. He had a natural ear for music, hearing a tune only once before he could play it. He was a 1970 graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School, ranked 32nd in a class of 383 students. He was chosen as the most outstanding teenager his senior year, excelling in all that he did. Academically gifted, he won the Optimist award and was President of the National Honor Society. He was an MVP in basketball, held a state record in javelin, and loved all things track-related. He was a member of the PA All Star team in the big 33 game in 1969. Bob had a hard time choosing between a career in sports or music. He went on to study at Lafayette College, 1970-72, on a football scholarship where he played as a fullback defensive end. His college career was cut short when his father died suddenly, leading Bob home to care for his family. Working as a sandblaster on bridges and surviving over a 150-foot fall, Bob saved up his money in order to help with family expenses.
A man of many talents, Bob chose to spend his life sharing his musical gifts with the world. He attended the National Guild in Kansas City, Missouri, where he was the youngest at the time to complete piano technician school, becoming a master technician. Bob was a piano tuner for over 35 years, tuning world traveling pianos for concerts and shows. He served as president for the local chapter and was the piano tuner for the Charlotte Symphony. He spent over 10 years tuning pianos at Queens University, Central Piedmont Community College, Davidson College, Wingate University, as well as over 30 years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
He entertained along the East Coast and in Germany during Oktoberfest. Bob even had the honor of performing and playing the piano at Carnegie Hall. Bob wrote music for the Discovery Place, as well as a musical jingle for Food Lion. His band “The Horizon’s” held a special place in his heart and won awards throughout their time together. Incorporating tasteful and artistic understanding, coupled with technical facility, Bob brought to life the modern day synthesizer recreating the works of Mozart, Clarke, Bach, and Haydn. Bob’s ability and poise at any instrument led to performances of the highest caliber. His favorite music to play consisted of Bob sitting at a piano, improvising, playing whatever came to his heart. The voice of an angel, Bob spent decades singing and leading others to the Lord. He was known to many as the man dressed in Lederhosen's playing the chicken dance on his accordion. He was our real life Piano Man.
Bob was a winner in all that he did, leaving an impact on everyone he met. He made everyone feel welcomed and accepted, no matter who they were. He will forever be remembered for his faith, sense of humor, love for life, love for others, and his loyalty. He was a true friend, someone you could always count on.
Bob is survived by his children, Joshua M. of St. Thomas Virgin Islands; B. Christopher of Surfside Beach, SC; Stepson R. Alan (Brandy) Wilson of Holualoa, Hawaii. Bob is also survived by his 7 siblings, Ann L. (John J.) Cook of Oklahoma City, OK; R. Michael (Margaret) Parker of Chester, VA; Julia A. (William E.) Bowers of Lancaster, PA; Dennis C. (Rebecca) Parker of Clarksville, TX; Donna M. (Stephen M.) Wilfong of Matthews, NC; Teresa E. (John V.) Yost of Leola, PA; Thomas K. (Sandra) Parker of Statesville, NC; 15 nephews, 17 nieces and 84 great nieces and nephews who all thought the world of their Uncle Bob.
Bob would want to leave this world sharing one of his favorite verses. “Love your neighbor as yourself, and love God with your whole heart, mind, soul and strength.”
A 'Live-Stream' feed of the funeral for Robert 'Bob' Parker can be accessed beginning at 11:00am Eastern Standard Time at the Grace Covenant Church website: https://live.gracecovenant.org/.
In lieu of flowers please consider the following- Compassion International- 12290 Voyager Parkway, Colorado Springs, CO 80921- 800-336-7676- Compassion.com
In addition please consider making a donation that will provide a scholarship in music to an outstanding student looking to pursue a career in music through Lancaster Catholic High School in memory of Robert S. Parker. Attn: Office of Advancement