Charles Lester Parker, known as Jim, died March 14 at Lakeview Rehabilitation and Care Center in Middle Island. He was 83.
Born May 15, 1928, in Calverton to Bunnie and Richard Parker Sr., he attended the Calverton School and Riverhead High School. He and his wife, Thelma, were married June 20, 1953.
Mr. Parker worked at Miloski’s Poultry Farm in Calverton and at Six by Nine Farm in Southampton until his retirement. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Riverhead.
According to family members, he was an avid gardener who could grow anything, and his basement looked like an operating room when he was transplanting or “doing surgery” on plants. He was once featured on the cover of Newsday Magazine surrounded by roses, they said. They described him as a “Mr. Fix-It” who could make storm windows and doors, tar a roof, fix leaky pipes, rewire lamps and even sew dresses by hand that looked store-bought.
Mr. Parker is survived by his wife of 58 years; his children, Charles, of Germany, and Debra, of Riverhead; his sister Eloise, also of Riverhead; and one grandson.
Viewing and a service took place March 19 at Seay Memorial Chapel in Riverhead, Pastor Roy L. Pennon Sr. officiating. Interment was at Riverhead Cemetery.