Don Parker

After leaving Chengdu in 1949, our family settled in Hollansburg, Ohio, USA where Bob and I attended high school. I went to college in Indiana at Manchester College. I met Joyce at our church camp –I was a junior counselor and she was a camper. We were playing soccer and I ran into her, knocking her down. I picked her up and asked her to go to campfire with me. We were engaged three years later and married 2 years after that. (And this year, 2008, is our 50th anniversary.) When we were married, Joyce was in nurses training and I was in medical school (Northwestern U. Medical School). After internship (during which our first child, Jeffrey, was born) we spent 3 years in Puerto Rico –I worked in a small mission hospital there, and our second child, Jennifer, was born there (delivered by uncle Bob). Residency in Internal Medicine followed (in Akron, Ohio) during which our third, Eric, was born.

We lived in the Akron area for 30 years. My medical practice was in nephrology (kidney diseases, dialysis, and transplantation). I retired in 1999. Joyce was a stay-at-home mom, doing the majority of raising our three children. (She returned to nursing briefly after the kids were in college, but since then has specialized in volunteer work with church and community.) We both enjoy art (for me Chinese art in Chengdu, then oil and eventually watercolor painting and for Joyce pottery) and music –harmonica for me and autoharp for Joyce). I still write plays (remember the one I wrote at CS?). The most recent one, which I directed, was selected to be presented at the Church of the Brethren 300th anniversary celebration this summer.

We are active in the Church of the Brethren, both of us in leadership roles locally and in the district, and for me nationally. I have gone on numerous short-term medical mission trips to Central America and the Caribbean (Joyce accompanying me on half of them). I enjoy hiking and traveling (Joyce less so).

I am a Master Gardener Volunteer with the Ohio State U. Extension and enjoy designing and developing gardens. My specialty is in garden railroads (model trains in a miniature garden setting). I am a staff writer for Garden Railways magazine with a regular garden column called “Miniscaping”.

Don and Joyce


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