Community mourns loss of local hero


Back in May, 59NEWS recognized John Parker as an American grit nominee for being a cancer survivor. At the same time he was also awarded the 2016 excellence in volunteerism award for his service to the community from the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce.

“He just wanted to hug and he wanted to smile at everyone and make everyone have a better day, even when he was doing his own battles he would always be looking out for someone else,” Paul Seamann said. Seamann served a co-worker with Parker at Jan-Care Ambulance Service. 

Parker worked as a certified EMS worker since 2005. During his years of service, he’s touched lives and taught thousands of people CPR and life saving skills. But last year in August his life took a dramatic turn. Parker was diagnosed with cancer. After the diagnosis he underwent chemotherapy and multiple surgeries to remove more than 40 tumors, but through it all he never gave up hope

 He was a father of six and was known to have a special relationship with each one. His second oldest Samantha Crist said he consistently made an impact on her life and her siblings.

“Anytime anything was wrong he was always a phone call or text away, walk up to talk to him he always knew what to say when things went wrong,” Crist said. “No matter the situation no matter what he was going through or what he had going on he always knew what to say to help me out to help anyone.  That’s what I’m going to miss most.”

The funeral is set for this Sunday at the Family Worship Center in Beckley at 2 p.m.

A GoFundme page has been set up to assists with the costs. 

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