The college's board of trustees has established the Dr. James Parker Endowment Fund for memorials. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday in the Parker College auditorium in Dallas.
Dr. Parker served the chiropractic profession for over five decades (see "Dr. James Parker -- A Remarkable 50 Years of Chiropractic Service" in the Aug. 15, 1996 issue). He received numerous commendations from state chiropractic associations, and from dozens of chiropractic groups around the world, including the ICA and ACA.
Dr. Parker, following in the footsteps of his first chiropractic mentor, Dr. Roy LeMond, graduated from Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1946. He operated two successful practices in Illinois, and would go on to open 18 thriving practices across Texas.
His practice success soon had many DCs seeking his advice. Dr. Parker met that need by beginning the Parker seminars in 1951.
Dr. Parker traveled extensively, teaching DCs and their assistants in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Manila, China and Japan. There have been 356 PSPS seminars to date.
Building on the educational aspirations that had begun with the seminars, Dr. Parker opened Parker College in Irving, Texas on September 12, 1982 with 27 registered students. Seven years later, the college moved the campus to 27 acres in Dallas to accommodate its growing student population.
Today, Parker College of Chiropractic is comprised of three campuses spread over 90 acres, has students representing 93 countries, and has over 1,700 alumni. Perhaps one of his greatest accomplishments was making the college debt free in its 13th year.
Dr. Parker led a march in Washington, DC, in 1978 to petition the Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare to grant the same rights and privileges to DCs as it did to MDs. He was also instrumental in convincing Louisiana legislators to license chiropractors.
In 1989, Dr. Parker was honored for 44 years of service to chiropractic education with a turnout of more than 8,000 chiropractic professionals at the 300th Parker Seminar in Las Vegas.
While Dr. Parker's career speaks for itself, this past year had been challenging for him. On Sept. 27, 1996, the Parker College Board of Trustees met. Chairman Robert Czopoth made a motion to depose Dr. Parker as president of the college, give him the title of president emeritus, and appoint Dr. W. Karl Parker president of the college. The board passed the chairman's motion with three dissenting votes.
At the time of this controversial event, Robert Hildreth, DC, one of the dissenting voices on the Parker board, called Dr. Parker "Mr. Chiropractic," and asserted the Dr. Jim had "revitalized the chiropractic profession in the 1950s, ... saved chiropractic in the 1960s .. gave himself, his money, his love and devotion and commitment to principles when his founded school named after him..."
On March 31, 1997, Dr. Parker was deposed as president of the college by the board of trustees, which appointed Dr. W. Karl Parker president of the college (see "Parker College Board 'Removes' Dr. Jim Parker from Campus," May 5, 1997 issue).
Feeling betrayed, Dr. Parker on December 2, 1996 filed a lawsuit against Parker College, alleging conflict of interest and "false and misleading statements to the Parker Board of Trustees." On January 11, 1997, another suit was filed against Parker trustee Leander Eckard, alleging violation of trust and misrepresentation. The lawsuits were later dropped.
At that time of the lawsuits, Dr. Parker commented: "Insofar as the future is concerned, I shall continue my efforts as long as necessary, to right this wrong and to honor my contract to Sept. 12, 2000. If I were dead, it would be the most natural and easy transition, for there is no one, anywhere, anytime, better than Dr. W. Karl Parker to assume the presidency by the time my contract is over."
Dr. Parker's last undertaking was his autobiography, At That Point in Time, which had a tentative publication date in the year 2000.
Dr. Parker was preceded in death by a son, James, and a daughter, Barbara. He is survived by a sister, Thelma, and sons and daughters-in-law: Dr. W. Karl Parker, now president of Parker College, and his wife, Judy; John Parker, DC, a Parker graduate, and his wife, Stacey Lynn, a Parker student.
He also leaves behind grandchildren: Robert Parker, DC, and wife, Kellie, both Parker alumni; Juddson Reed, DC, a Parker alumnus; Michael Parker and his wife, Diane; Steven (Parker student), and Ashley, Bailey, and Aleczandria. His great-grandchildren left behind are Bryce, Jade, Jordan and Cole.