The life of Calvin Rickey Parker, Sr. began in Eastaboga, Alabama on April 23, 1957 when he was born to the late Calvin Cooledge and Lela Jane Johnson Parker. Calvin was the younger of two children. On Friday, February 18, 2022 Calvin entered into eternal rest in his home surrounded by his family Calvin’s walk on his Christian journey began when he accepted Christ at an early age and joined the Parker Memorial Baptist Church in Eastaboga, Alabama. Calvin is a 1975 graduate of Munford High School in Munford, Alabama and a 1980 graduate of The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with a Bachelor of Science (BS) Degree in Industrial Arts Education and a double major in Manual Arts Therapy. He also completed post-graduate studies at Troy University in Troy, Alabama in 1999-2001, majoring in Administration. While attending the University of Alabama, Calvin played defensive end on the Crimson Tide Football Team coached by the Legendary Paul “Bear Bryant” where he was part of the 1978 National Championship Team. He was one of the first 27 black players to integrate the Alabama Crimson Tide Football Team. During the “Night of Legends” event on December 18, 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama, the Jeremiah Castille Foundation honored those brave 27 brave black men who paved the way for so many. After graduating from the University of Alabama, Calvin played with the West Virginia Rockets of the American Football Association (AFA), a professional American Football League that operated from 1977-1983. He was also a coach at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) in Oxford, Mississippi. In 1981 Calvin moved to Ozark, Alabama and began his career at Carroll High School as an Industrial Technology teacher and assistant football coach for the defensive ends. Later he became the head basketball coach. In 1999 he became a part of the Administrative Team and was promoted to Administrative Assistant, where he assisted the principal in all areas of administration until retiring in 2015. In addition to being active in his professional career, Calvin has always been very active in the church and community affairs. Upon relocating to Ozark, he joined Greater Sardis Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Autrey. Rev. Stephen C. Hudson is current the Pastor Calvin was ordained as a Deacon in 1998. He also served on the Trustee Board, Finance Committee, Director of Youth Bible Study and Vacation Bible School. In the community, he served on the Ozark Parks and Recreation Board and operated the late-night basketball program at the Boys and Girls Club. Calvin’s hobbies included reading, sports, doing yard work and talking and reminiscing about life. His favorite quote was “Every tub has to sit on its own bottom.” It has been said his greatest joy was “aggravating” his children. However, he actually enjoyed going on road trips and to sporting events, camps, tournaments and dance recitals with his children and grandchildren. Calvin had a genuine love for helping people, both physically and spiritually. He was extremely dedicated and supportive to the needs of his entire family, not just his wife and children. He was caregiver for several family members in his home as well as from a distance. In 1975, while taking Sociology 101 at the University of Alabama, Calvin was having difficulty taking notes due to a football hand injury. As a result he asked Delois Moore to borrow and study her notes. From this, a relationship developed throughout their college years and they were united in marriage on August 22, 1981 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The birth of his children made him one PROUD DADDY. On June 28, 1983 their son, Calvin Jr. “Lil Rickey” was born, and on November 10, 1986 their daughter Amber Dione joined the family. “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!” Gone from this world, but not forgotten, Calvin was thankful for those who loved him most.
Precious memories of Calvin’s well lived and beautiful life will forever be cherished in the hearts of those who loved him most: Loving and Dedicated Wife of over 40 years, Delois whom he mostly called Lucille. Daddy’s Pride and Joy: Son, Calvin Jr., (Lil Rickey), Daughter, Amber Dione and Grandsons, “his boys”, Desmond and Cayden Parker-Smith, to whom he was affectionately known as Pa-Pa, One Sister: Brenda Hall of Conyers, GA; One Brother-in-Law who was more like a brother, Willie Moore, Jr. of Atlanta, GA; Four Sisters-in-Law: Willie Reaver Congress of Birmingham, AL; Frances Moore of Miami, FL; Virginia M. Robinson of Memphis, TN; Shirley Moore Riley (Ed) of Jackson, TN; A Brother-in-Law: William Cooke of Atlanta, GA; A Special Devoted Cousin-in-Law: Beatrice Turner of Uniontown, AL; Twelve Nieces and Nephews: Denika Hunter of Jonesboro, GA; Lakeisha Jones of Conyers, GA; Arthur Jarvell Robinson (Amanda) of Houston, TX; Anthony James Robinson of Memphis, TN; Jasmine Riley of Jackson, TN; Patrice and Christopher (Kesa) Cooke, Denise (Dwayne) Robinson, Deborah, Chasity and Kevin Moore of Atlanta, GA and Omar Moore of Austin, TX; Eleven Grand-Nieces and-Nephews: Arqualos, Quaveion, and Zacchaeus Storey of Jonesboro, GA; Christian and Ayanah Perez of Conyers, GA; Justin and Brandon Robinson of Atlanta, GA; Kamryhn and Corey Moore of Atlanta, GA, Skylar Moore of Springs, TX and Arthur James Robinson III of Houston, TX; Aunts: Pauline Wilson of Anniston, AL; Sarah Johnson of Heflin, AL; and Clyde Johnson of Huntsville, AL and many, many cousins, relatives, and friends. Faithful and Dear Friends: Wiley Barnes of Mariana, FL; Ronnie Caldwell and Jerry Gissendanner of Ozark, AL; James “Pokey” Byrd of Chapel Hill, NC; Paul Harris of SC; Joanne Johnson of Ozark, AL; Inez Pennington of Ozark, AL who affectionately called him “My Son” and “My Deacon”.