R.I.P. My Friend Parkey Strader

This morning, I received a text message that my friend Park M. “Parkey” Strader had died around 7:00 a.m. this morning. I became active in Knox County Republican Party politics in 1982. Parkey was one of the first people that I met. I volunteered to work for him in his next election at the Sunnyview precinct. I put out yard signs and on election day, I wore a sun visor and handed out matches, emery boards and the like.

I worked with and for Parkey in every election while he was the Property Assessor. Parkey did not stand for election in 2000 and I thought he had retired. I remember getting the phone call from Parkey in 2004 that he would run as a candidate for State Representative in our district. This was an exciting election win in the Republican primary. The hate that came from his primary and general election opponents made it difficult because Parkey refused to respond to hate with hate.

Several things that I learned from Parkey early on, when running as an incumbent do not use the term re-elect. Because you are running and asking for their vote. So, he used Vote for and Elect, he said it gives an action for the candidates request.

Parkey was never critical of anyone at anytime. Although I and others felt that certain individuals were deserving of criticism, he NEVER would do it. During his illness he served in the legislature and while he could have been angry about it he never complained. All the times that I would call him and ask how he was, he never said he was hurting and never complained of his illness.

Parkey Strader is a man that I am pleased to have called my friend, my Property Assessor and my Legislator. Parkey Strader was a man of actions that I have never been able to copy. He was always positive, never negative. Parkey Strader was that rare exception that comes along once in a lifetime. I am pleased to have spent as much time with him as I did. While his family and all of us friends are left here sad that Parkey is not with us anymore.

This morning, when I got the word, I believe that I caught a glimpse today of what I believe happened in Heaven this morning around 7:00 a.m. this morning. He went through those pearly gates today, with a smile on his face, his hand stuck out shaking the hands of all the saints that went on before him that were waiting to greet him. After he had some time inside the gates of Heaven, he realized that his body doesn’t hurt anymore, that he has his new body. He glances back toward the gate thinking about us but he knows that we will be o.k. So, he turns and did exactly what Pastor Adrian Rogers once said he would do when that time comes. “when my time comes, don’t be sorry for me; I’ll be kicking up gold dust on the streets of glory.”

So, Pray for Parkey’s family and friends over the next several weeks and months.

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1 Response

  1. While tonight we all feel a little poorer because Parkey has left us, we are all so much richer for having known and learned from him.

    Great post, Brian. Parkey would be proud. . . and humbled.