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Gordon "Lanny" Parker

September 21, 2019
Gordon "Lanny" Parker
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Obituary for Gordon "Lanny" Parker

Gordon Lancaster Parker, Jr., “Lanny”, 85, of Little Compton and Providence, died peacefully after a long illness at Bethany Home of Rhode Island, Providence, on September 21. He was the loving husband for 47 years of Jane and devoted father of Gordon and his wife Maddy.

Son of the late Gordon L. Parker, a former Treasurer of Brown University, and Marie Merriman Parker, Lanny attended Moses Brown School and graduated from St. Mark’s School, Southborough, MA, and Brown University, Class of 1956. He was a member of Psi U fraternity, and friendships made there have been lifelong. During his college summers, Lanny worked as a roughneck on oil rigs in Wyoming and on a commercial tuna boat fishing off the coast of southern California. These were life changing experiences.

Lanny attended Officer Candidate School in Newport and served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy on the destroyer USS Witek (DD-848). Returning to Providence in 1960, Lanny joined the Investment Department at The Rhode Island Hospital Trust National Bank. He ended his 30 year career there as Head of the Investment Management and Trust Division.

Upon leaving the bank, Lanny began taking drawing and painting courses at RISD. He loved to draw and paint birds and coastal scenes on paper and often combined watercolor, graphite, and ink in his paintings. Lanny was an artist member of The Providence Art Club and had a number of shows there with several other artists. His work was also represented in shows in Little Compton, Tiverton, Westport and Newport.

Over the years, Lanny was involved with a number of organizations. He served as Treasurer of Bethany Home and as Chairman of Swan Point Cemetery from 1991 to 2010. He was a past President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence and on the Boards of the Providence Preservation Society, The Rhode Island Philharmonic, Preserve Rhode Island, Community Prep, Harbor House, Friends of Sakonnet Light and the Benefit Street Association. He served on the Investment Committees of Central Congregational Church and St. Mark’s School where he also served as Class Representative.

Lanny had many interests including reading, classical music, tennis, sailing, gardening, fishing and duck hunting. He loved to hunt locally and in Maine where he owned camps with three friends. Most of all, Lanny enjoyed his wooden 24 foot bass boat “Pintail” that he bought for fishing, moored in Sakonnet Harbor, and owned for 59 years.

Lanny’s clubs include past President of The Hope Club and for many years Treasurer of Sakonnet Yacht Club, Inc. He was a former member of The Agawam Hunt Club, Turks Head Club, Sakonnet Golf Club, Sakonnet Point Club, Warren Point Beach Club, The Hillsboro Club, Hillsboro Beach, Fla., Twelfth Night, Laurel Brook Club, and Mt. Tom Club.
Throughout Lanny’s life, he had a strong work ethic. He was loyal, kind, fair and generous, and had a sense of humor. He was truly a gentle man and will be dearly missed.

Lanny also leaves two nieces, Becky and Tuppett and a nephew, Andrew. He was predeceased by his sister, Polly and his nephew William.

A celebration of Lanny’s life will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 5, at The Redwood Chapel at Swan Point Cemetery with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, a donation to Bethany Home of Rhode Island, 111 South Angell Street, Providence, 02906, in memory of Lanny, would be most appreciated by his family.


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