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Leon Parker, 54, of Charlotte, N.C., went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, October 29, 2009. He was the oldest child of the Rev. Dr. L.D. and Helen Parker.
Knowing the importance of education, Leon graduated from North Mecklenburg Senior High School in 1972 and Southern Railway in Atlanta, Ga., in engineering. He had also obtained certificates for religious studies.
He joined Saint Luke Baptist Church at a very young age. Committed to doing II Timothy 2:15, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (The Message Bible), Leon started at a young age following his father around and gaining more and more knowledge of the Word of God. This helped him serve in various capacities such as Sunday school superintendent, deacon, Baptist Training Union instructor, Bible study leader, trustee, Royal Ambassadors (Male Missionary Group, helping young men develop into manhood), The L.D. Parker Mass Choir, Usher Board, Men Hymn and the combined Hymn choirs. He was very active in the Lane Creek Missionary Baptist Association as member of the Executive Board and adult teacher of the Lane Creek Quarterly Union. He has served as president of the Charlotte City Sunday School Union. He received numerous awards for outstanding service, dedication, dependability and employee of the month.
Driving must have been his calling because he started driving a school bus for Charlotte Mecklenburg School system and we can all remember those trips on the Saint Luke Church bus (Leon had us everywhere) but he was always faithful and dependable. He was employed by Cannon Mill (Field Crest Cannon) for many years but returned to his love of driving-he drove the trolley bus for CATS (Charlotte Area Transit System)-and there his light was very bright. He was also a member of the staff of Parker Funeral Home in Rock Hill, S.C.
Leon didn't have children of his own but he touched the lives of so many people young and old, making an eternal difference. He was a good listener and knew how to help you even when you thought there was no hope. He was a very peaceable person who didn't believe in confusion and strived to make sure we all were peaceable people. His demeanor was genuinely quiet until he began talking about Jesus. Two songs that we loved to hear him sing were “I'll Fly Away” and “I Don't Know What You Come to Do.” Can you imagine someone who was so full of the Holy Ghost that he could “preach” the announcements? You could actually feel the spirit in just him making the announcements. He would even get requests to do the acknowledgements at funerals because people knew if Leon stepped up to the microphone, God was going to deliver a Word through him.
Leon was preceded in death by his parents, Dr. L.D. and Helen Parker; brother, Valdis John Parker; and a great-niece, Khamil R. Cannon. Those he leaves to continue in the faith to join him again later are a brother, Ezzard Charles Parker; a sister, Mitzy Jean Parker-Sanders (Daryel); nieces, Sherlonda Renee King, JaLisa M. Sanders, Shareka Corry and Kendra Jackson; nephews, Demond J. Corry and D. Darnell Sanders; and one great-nephew, Meliki Cannon (all of Charlotte); aunts, Florence Barrino of Charlotte, Odessa Tanner of Marshville, N.C., and Margell T. Carter of New Castle, Del.; the Mungo family; the CATS family, the Saint Luke Baptist Church family; and a host of other relatives and friends.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, November 1, 2009. A celebration of Leon's life will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, November 2, 2009. The body will lie in state from 12 noon until time of the service. All these services will be held at Saint Luke Missionary Baptist Church, 1600 Norris Ave., Charlotte, NC 28206. Interment will be in Forest Lawn West Cemetery.
Parker Funeral Home of Rock Hill, S.C., is entrusted with the arrangements.