Thomas Lyman Parker, Jr., age 77, of St. Simons Island, Georgia passed away peacefully in the Golden Isles on Monday, November 23, 2020, with his family by his side.
Mr. Parker was born on September 14, 1943, in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of the late Dr. Thomas Lyman Parker, Sr. and Merle Anderson Parker. Tom attended primary school in Atlanta and finished his remaining school years in Douglas, GA where his father moved the family in 1953.
In 1965 Tom graduated from LaGrange College where he earned his B.S. degree. While pursuing his degree, his and Larree’s three young sons were born, inevitably becoming a large part of college life. After graduation, Tom began his career as a pharmaceutical sales representative with Merck Sharp and Dohme in Winter Haven, Florida. In 1970, after accepting a job with 3M Corporation in the Orthopedics Division, Tom moved his family to Atlanta, GA, embarking on what became a satisfying and illustrious 30 year career. Tom and family loved Atlanta and called it their home.
In 1985, Mr. Parker was selected to become 3M’s Director of Professional Relations specializing in the launch of new and innovative products for the Orthopedics Division of the company. Tom excelled in his role and cultivated relationships with notable opinion leader physicians, who along with 3M, are responsible for several of the advances in orthopedic surgery today. Tom, Larree and Carey moved to Sea Island and later to St. Simons Island to enjoy life in the Golden Isles following his retirement from 3M.
As an aside to his career with 3M, Tom founded Peachtree Orthopedic Products (POP) in 1989 and after a short time turned it over to his son, Richard. Tom rejoined the company as CEO under the new name, Midwest Medical in 2010 and retired in 2015.`
Mr. Parker was a member of St. Simons Presbyterian Church, St. Simons Rotary Club, Coastal Symphony of Georgia, St. Simons Land Trust and a founding member of Sea Island Club.
During his lifetime, Tom pursued many interests including music, arts, dance, travel, politics and lively debates.
Tom was best known for his personality and dedication to his family, immediate and greater, and will be forever missed.
In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by a brother, Paul Parker of Douglas, GA. Tom leaves his wife of 59 years, Larraine (Larree) O’Steen Parker of St. Simons Island, GA; sons Thomas L. Parker III (Suelynne) of Mt. Pleasant, SC; Carey Lane Parker of St. Simons Island, GA and Richard Lance Parker (Jill) of Folly Beach, SC; brother John Parker (Karen) of Douglas, GA; two sisters, Lynn Schofield of St. Simons Island, GA; Laura Parker of Arlington, VA; six grandchildren, Thomas L. Parker IV, Emily Parker, Sarah Parker, Richard Parker, Jr., Tom Parker, William Parker and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
A family graveside service was held on Friday, November 27, 2020, at Christ Church Cemetery, St. Simons Island, GA with Reverend Benjy Varnell officiating.
Pallbearers were Mark O’Steen, Jason Parker, Andrew Stewart, Chris Yaughn, Thomas Parker IV, Richard Parker, Jr., Tom Lane Parker and William Parker
Memorials may be made to LaGrange College, 601 Broad Street, LaGrange, GA 30240 - www.lagrange.edu/giving
Sympathy may be expressed by signing the online registry at www.simsfuneralhome.org.
Sims Funeral Home, Douglas, GA was in charge of arrangements.