Longtime International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 48 member Philip Parker died of a heart attack April 2. He was 67.
Parker joined Local 48 in 1978. He was an active member, serving on the Executive Board, as vice president, as an apprenticeship instructor, and as chair and later treasurer of the Washington IBEW Political Action Committee. Parker “retired” (started collecting his pensions) in 2009, but never retired from the IBEW, remaining an active dues-paying member.
At the time of his death he was serving as president of the Labor Roundtable of Southwest Washington, and he had recently been reappointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to a second, four-year term on the Washington State Transportation Commission.
Parker also was currently serving on the boards of the Clark County Public Facilities District, the Southwest Washington Workforce Development Council, the Columbia River Economic Development Council, and he was a member of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.
He previously served as a member of the Washington State Electrical Board, the Washington State University-Vancouver Advisory Board, the Tech Prep Advisory Committee for Clark College, and on the Clark County Planning Commission for 14 years. In his spare time, he volunteered with the local Boy Scouts and coached youth soccer (one of his players was Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt).
In 2012 he ran unsuccessfully for Clark County Public Utility District commissioner.
Philip Arthur Parker was born Oct. 27, 1946, in Providence, Rhode Island. His family moved to Orlando, Fla., where he was raised with two sisters and a younger brother.
He graduated from Colonial High School in Orlando in 1964 and later attended local community college there.
He served and was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army Reserves.
Parker met his wife of 44 years, Sherry Waltz, on a blind date in Florida, where she was a student at the University of South Florida. They were married on July, 19, 1969.
In 1970, at age 23, Parker was accepted into the union electricians apprenticeship training program and became a member of IBEW Local 606. When worked slowed down in Florida, Parker moved his family to Houston, Texas, then to San Diego, and finally to Portland, where he dispatched out of IBEW Local 48.
His wife and two sons settled in Vancouver, Wash. In 2007 the Parkers moved to Battle Ground.
Parker is survived by his wife, Sherry, a former county clerk and current Clark College trustee; sons Jeffrey of Sammamish, Wash., and David of Ridgefield, Wash.; and four grandchildren. David is a member of Local 48.
About 75 people — union members, politicians and business leaders — attended the April 11 meeting of the Labor Roundtable, of which Parker was chairman. Attendees described Parker as a humble man — a giant with an undying commitment to jobs, the infrastructure, and all workers. “Phil’s influence is felt all over the state,” said state Sen. Annette Cleveland.
A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, April 22, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. at Luepke Community Center, 1009 E. McLoughlin Blvd., Vancouver.