Gary Robert Parker was born at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington on November 18, 1936, to Albert C. Parker and Dorothy A. Parker. He was raised in Torrington and graduated from Torrington High School in 1954. After graduation from high school, Gary joined the U. S. Navy in August 1954.
Gary passed away peacefully after a long illness surrounded by his loving family at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital on May 18, 2023. He was so loved by his wife of 66 ½ years Marlene (Hornfischer) Parker, his daughter, Nancy Begey and her husband Gary of Torrington, CT; son-in-law Al Melaragno of Torrington; his grandchildren Michael Melaragno, Andrew Melaragno and his wife Brittaney, Eric Begey and his wife Danielle, Lauren Patnaude and her husband Andrew, Nicholas Melaragno, Kevin Begey, and his fiancée Sarah Braga as well as four great grandchildren. He made time during his last moments to speak to each adult grandchild with his words of wisdom for them to always remember and live by. Gary is also survived by his sister Lucretia Goodwin, brother-in-law Glenn Hornfischer and his wife Jane, as well as many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Debra Melaragno.
Gary loved and was an active member of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Torrington. Through the years, he sang in the church choir, taught Sunday school, and served on the church council with a term as President of St. Paul’s Congregation.
As a teenager, Gary fell in love with the love of his life, Marlene Hornfischer. After church confirmation at 14 years old, they were best friends at first as members of St. Paul’s Junior Club. They fell in love and married at ST. Paul’s on October 6, 1956. Gary served in the U.S. Navy as a GM3 Gunners Mate 3rd Class on the aircraft carrier, U.S.S. Tarawa CV40.
Gary was in the grocery business for over 50 years. He managed the A & P Grocery store in Torrington, and later he worked as manager of Bob’s Village Market where he got to know and love the residents of Goshen. His employees and customers at both stores were always special to him. He had a wonderful sense of humor and made everyone around him smile. He also served as a limousine driver for Ellis Limousine’s.
Gary was a family man, and his family always came first. He loved sports and always enjoyed watching his six grandchildren play sports in baseball, softball, and soccer. Everyone was sure to know of his special love for the Yankees baseball team!
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 837 Charles St., Torrington, CT. Relatives and friends who haven’t yet paid their last respects may do so at St. Paul's Church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:00 a.m. Burial will follow at Hillside Cemetery with final military honors accorded.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, The Book of Remembrance, 837 Charles St., Torrington, CT 06790
Condolences may be sent to Gary’s family by visiting www.cookfuneralhomect.com
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