July 31, 1927-Dec. 30, 2017
Longtime Goldsboro physician Talbot Fort Parker Jr., M.D., "Tod," died Saturday, Dec. 30, 2017, at Homestead Hospice in Waynesville, N.C., from complications of prostate cancer.
Born July 31, 1927, in Goldsboro, Tod was the son of Talbot Fort Parker Sr. and Jane Agnes McAdams Parker.
He attended Goldsboro City Schools, and entered the University of North Carolina in 1944.
After one year, he enlisted in the United States Navy, and served as a hospital apprentice 2nd class during the tail end of World War II.
Tod returned to the University of North Carolina in 1946, where he was pre-med and a member of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity.
In 1947, 20-year-old Tod entered Thomas Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, and graduated in 1951.
Tod then held a rotating internship at Jefferson-Hillman Hospital with the University of Alabama in Birmingham, and a residency in the field of OBGYN followed in 1952 at Watts Hospital in Durham, where Tod met a young nurse, Miss Willie Elizabeth Drummond. They were married in November 1953 in Amherst, Va.
Earlier in 1953, Tod rejoined the United States Navy, this time as a lieutenant assigned to the admiral's medical staff in Norfolk, where the admiral had assured him he would remain for an uneventful two years.
However, transfer orders arrived sending Tod to a place no one had ever heard of -- Olongopo in the Philippines. Once Tod could find proper housing for his young bride, the United States Navy flew Betty out, and also paid to ship their automobile from California.
While stationed at Subic Bay Naval Base, 27-year-old Lt. Parker was the only American doctor in all of the Philippines with any obstetrical training, and so he held the position of chief of obstetrics during this tour of duty.
After leaving the United States Navy in 1955, Tod continued his obstetrics training at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, under Robert A. Ross, M.D.
He returned to Goldsboro in 1957 to open his private practice. When Wayne County built a new hospital, Tod built spacious new offices nearby, renamed his practice Wayne Women's Clinic and recruited other OBGYN's to Goldsboro to join his practice.
Wayne Women's Clinic continues today to meet the health care needs of Wayne County women.
Tod retired from private practice at age 65, but continued to work part-time for another 16 years with the family planning clinic of the Wayne County Health Department, where his boss was his good friend and colleague Kenneth Wilkins.
After 58 years of practicing medicine, Tod fully retired on his 82nd birthday in 2009.
Tod delivered several sets of twins, but attended only one triplet birth, and that was in Birmingham as a first-year resident.
Tod had an ocean front beach cottage called Fort Parker at Atlantic Beach, which his father had bought in the late 1930s, and he spent a large part of his summers there annually.
Later he owned a sound front cottage at Morehead, and he called Carteret County his summer home, until just a few years ago, when he retired to the mountains.
Sailing was a lifelong passion for Tod, having learned those skills as a teenager at the side of old salt Josiah Bailey of Morehead.
In addition to scouting, sailing and classical music, Tod was an avid skier, jumping at every opportunity to attend a medical conference at Aspen or Snowmass.
In October 1989, Tod met Elizabeth May Shannon, and they married Feb. 3, 1990, in Goldsboro. where they lived, until retiring to Waynesville. Anyone and everyone who met them, remarked on the love they demonstrated toward one another, and Elizabeth was at Tod's side when he died.
Tod was active in many medical associations, and served in leadership positions in most of them. He was president of the medical staff of the Wayne County Hospital and chairman of its OBGYN department.
He was president of the Wayne County Medical Society, and held membership in the North Carolina Medical Society, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecology and the North Carolina Section of ACOG.
He served several terms as "arrangements chair" for the North Carolina OBGYN Society, where he kept getting re-elected after adding a welcome cocktail party to the annual meeting agenda, and later served as Society president.
Of special importance was his membership in the Robert A. Ross Society, and he continued to attend the annual "Daddy Ross" meetings until his death.
He was an Eagle Scout and a cradle-to-grave Presbyterian.
Tod is survived by his second wife, Elizabeth May Shannon Parker of Waynesville; children Robert Fort Parker "Bobby" and wife, Donna, of LaGrange, N.C., Nancy Starr Parker Parson and husband, George, of Atlanta Ga., Richard Todd Parker and wife, Felisa, of Wendell, N.C., and Charles Drummond Parker of Greenville, N.C.; stepchildren, Richard Sterling Ingram Jr. "Rick" and wife, Susan, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and Sunny Shannon Ingram of Waynesville; grandchildren, Harrison Todd Parker and wife, Kristin, Jordan Talbot Parker, Molly Elizabeth Parker, Amy Lynn Parker, Thomas Wesley Parson V and Virginia Drummond Parson; and stepgrandchildren, Lindsay Ingram Judy, Richard Tyler Ingram, Morgan Ashley Ingram and Timothy Gray Ingram.
Tod was preceded in death by his first wife, Willie Elizabeth Drummond Parker "Betty," who died in 1988 from cancer; his sisters, Jane Agnes Parker Smith and Matilda Eunice Parker Thrasher; and his daughter-in-law Tina Holland Parker.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018, at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro, with the Rev. Dr. Robert F. Bardin officiating.
Memorial gifts may be made to Homestead Hospice in Waynesville, First Presbyterian Church in Waynesville or First Presbyterian Church in Goldsboro.
Arrangements by Seymour Funeral Home in Goldsboro and Garrett Funeral Home in Waynesville.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.seymourfuneralhome.com.