Skip to content

Obituary – Hugh Parker

Hugh Henderson Parker, 86, of Winchester, Tennessee., died Friday, October 15, 2021, at Ascension St. Thomas West Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Mr. Parker is survived by his two daughters, Mary Parker Bernard, of Nashville, and Laura Parker Zontek, of Winchester, and their husbands, Chris Bernard and Tommy Zontek, respectively. Mr. Parker is also survived by six grandchildren: Isaac Marion McGee, age 24, and his wife, Keely; Caleb Henderson McGee, age 21; Jared Parker McGee, age 17; Susanna Grace Bernard, age 18; Seth Parker Bernard, age 16; and Spencer Christian Bernard, age 16. 

Survivors also include Mr. Parker’s two sisters, Patricia Eisenbeis, of Murfreesboro, Tn., and Judith Spain, and her husband, Vic, of White Marsh, Va. He also leaves behind three nephews, one niece, two great nephews, and six great nieces, and dozens of friends whom he loved like his family. 

He is preceded in death by his beloved wife of 46 years, Frances Spencer Parker; his parents, Hugh Leonard Parker and Maxine Henderson Parker; and his brother, Garry Benjamin Parker, all of Flat Creek. 

Hugh Parker was born and grew up in the Flat Creek community; throughout his lifetime, Mr. Parker farmed hundreds of acres of land and owned hundreds of cattle. He graduated from Central High School in Shelbyville, Tn., and served in Verdun, France, and Murnau, Germany, with the United States Army from 1955 to 1957. He attended Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro before accepting a position to sell farm equipment for the Gehl Company in 1960. His primary territory was Tennessee and Kentucky, and he traveled during the week to service equipment dealer accounts while farming on the weekends. 

In 1981, he was promoted to regional sales manager, when he supervised district sales managers throughout the southeast. He won numerous sales awards, including the prestigious R.M. “Dick” Gehl Top Performer Award in 1973. He retired from Gehl in 1990 and then spent almost 25 years farming full-time in Flat Creek.

Having never met a stranger, Mr. Parker was known for remembering names and faces, always being ready with a funny story to tell, and offering an eager and helping hand to anyone in need. He was happiest around the people and places he loved—working the hayfield or taking care of his animals; running errands with his dog, Mikey; talking to his grandsons about the farm; celebrating holidays surrounded by family and good, southern food; watching a ballgame or car race with a friend; cheering on his favorite horse and rider at a horse show; or spending the afternoon on the front porch watching the birds and squirrels.  

A treasured asset to his community, Mr. Parker was a member of the First Presbyterian Church where he served for several terms as a deacon. He also helped build the Flat Creek Volunteer Fire Department building and volunteered as a firefighter. 

He enjoyed a simple life and only ever wanted to be surrounded by loved ones and God’s creation. He had a strong work ethic, valued loyalty and honesty in his friends, and instilled a sense of selflessness in his children and grandchildren. 

He could repair almost anything with a motor, he grilled a delicious steak, and his sense of humor and light-hearted nature made him truly unforgettable; everyone he met fell in love with him.

We celebrate the life and death of Hugh Parker, husband, father, and Papa.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” —Psalm 116:15

Service information
Doak-Howell Funeral Home
739 N Main St.
Shelbyville, TN 37160

Visitation: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 5-8 p.m. 
Funeral: Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 2 p.m. 

Burial to follow funeral service, Rosebank Cemetery on New Herman Road in Flat Creek, Tn. 

(Masks are requested.) 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in memory of Hugh be made to one of the following: 

The Tennessee Walking Horse Foundation

PO Box 11263
Murfreesboro, TN 37129

Donations may also be made through the TWHF Endowment Fund at

Spotted Saddle Horse Breeders & Exhibitors Association
O. Box 1046 
Shelbyville, TN 37162

Flat Creek Volunteer Fire Department 
2173 Hwy 82 South
Shelbyville, TN 37160

Flat Creek Community Center 
c/o Diana Stokes 
2408 Hwy 82 South 
Shelbyville, TN  37160

More Stories

  • FAST provides industry update

    In 2021, the walking horse industry has experienced a generally successful year for our show horse including an increased number of horse shows and sustained entry numbers at the 2021 Celebration.  As we enter into the final quarter of the year, industry organizations and leadership are turning their attention toward the 2022 year.   Read More
  • Obituary – Lined With Cash

    It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Lined With Cash. He passed this afternoon of an apparent cardiac arrest.  This 25-year-old son of WGC Coin's Hard Cash out of the great Gen's Silver Lining has sired currently 1238 offspring who hold close to 400 World Titles. Read More
  • Obituary - Chester Marbry

    The Report has recently learned of the passing of long time walking horse owner, Chester Marbry. A full obituary will he posted as it becomes available. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Marbry family during this time. Read More
  • WHOA announces new show venues for 2022

    The Walking Horse Owners Association would like to announce that WHOA will sponsor the “Southern Belle Walking Horse Show” scheduled for March 10-12, 2022. The event will be held at the Georgia Horse Park, 1996 Centennial Olympic Parkway, Conyers, Georgia 30013. Read More
  • Latest Issue 11 22 21

    Read More
  • Obituary – Joel Roper “Huck” Moss, Jr.

    Joel Roper “Huck” Moss, Jr., husband of Peggy Ann Moss for 56 years, died November 17, 2021, after an extended illness. Mr. Moss was born on April 8, 1942, to the late Joel Roper “Bubba” Moss, Sr., and Margaret Gardner Moss.  Read More
  • TWHBEA names Derickson CFO

    The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' Association President, Jack Heffington, announced the hiring of Thomas Derickson as the Chief Financial Officer of Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders' Association, effective November 17, 2021. Read More
  • Mikey’s Motors donates cart to Celebration

    Mike and Chris Williamson with Mikey’s Motors recently donated a utility cart to The Celebration for use on the showgrounds. The cart, which is street legal and enclosed with heat and air will be utilized by Celebration staff in a number of ways throughout the course of the year. Read More
  • Horse of the Year online voting available for Trainers

    The Walking Horse Trainers' Association is excited to announce that they have launched electronic voting for this year's Horse of the Year awards.  With this voting, it is their hope to have made the process easier for trainers and that as a result there will be a greater participation in the voting process... Read More
  • Changes happening fast at TWHBEA; Focus turns to election

    The Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ & Exhibitors’ Association (TWHBEA) recently announced that Executive Director Margo Urad would end her term as Executive Director on December 6, 2021 and assume a new role as Director of Programs and Horse Show Development... Read More