Dr. Gary Joe Parker

Dr. Gary Joe Parker, 74, of Columbia, MO passed away on December 27, 2021.

Celebration of life will be held from 3-6pm, Monday, August 22, 2022, at Blue Ridge Christian Church, 2400 Blue Ridge Rd., Columbia, MO 65202.

Gary (Doc) was born October 25, 1947, in Salem, MO. He was raised in Jefferson City, MO where he completed middle and high school. He spent many summers with his grandparents in Salem. He continued his education at Lincoln University and Harvard University. Returning to Missouri, Gary continued and completed his medical degree at the University of Missouri. While in medical school, Gary met his future wife, Kathryn Rude. Gary was board certified in internal medicine and geriatrics as a physician.

After receiving his medical degree, Gary worked as a hospital ER physician in St. Joseph, MO, before being called to serve in the U.S. Army where he was stationed at a medical unit in South Korea near the 38th parallel, during the Vietnam war.  After returning to the United States, Gary and Kathy married in July 1975.  Together, they moved to Denver CO, where Gary continued his military service at Fitzsimmons Army Medical Hospital, then moving to Ft. Leavenworth, KS to complete his military service at Munson Army Health Center.  There Gary and Kathy were excited about the birth of their daughter Drury Megan.  Gary completed his military service retiring as a Major.

Gary entered a medical practice in Ellington, MO with two medical college classmates. While there he wrote grants to help provide better medical care for the residence of Reynolds County, MO. Gary and Kathryn welcomed the arrival of their son, Joseph Pendleton while in Ellington. Gary and Kathryn then moved to Farmington, MO joining a medical clinic. Together they raised their family there from 1981 to
2001. Gary had a private practice in Farmington and worked as a hospital physician, before furthering his medical career with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Missouri, first at Poplar Bluff, John J. Pershing, Saint Louis, Jefferson Barracks and finally at the Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia, MO. While at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital, Gary helped start a professional union to protect medical professionals and technicians. Gary continued working at Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital in Columbia where he retired in 2018. Gary was a Baptized believer in Jesus Christ. Gary and Kathryn worked with Missouri Operations of Vigorous Evangelism (M.O.V.E.) helping to start an Independent Christian Church in Farmington, MO, before their final residence in Columbia. Both Gary and Kathryn attended the Christian Campus House ministered by Roy Weiss and later Blue Ridge Christian Church. Gary will always be remembered for his deep and abiding care for all he met along his life. Family and friends were of the utmost importance to him. He loved them dearly. He is truly missed.

Gary was preceded in death by his father, Joseph Leon Parker; mother, Melba Louise (Haas) Parker; brother in-law Donald Miller; aunt Harriet (Haas) Crouch; uncle, Bill Ellis; grandfather, Archie Gilbert Parker; grandmother, Nova (Talbert) Parker; grandfather, Louis Haas; grandmother Laura (Springman) Haas.

Gary is survived by his children Drury (Greg) Moyers, Joseph Parker, granddaughter Ann Moyers, sister Glenda (Parker) Miller, his sisters in-law Renee Saunders, Laramie (Robert) Daniel, Jannette (Steve) Levie, his brothers in-law Bill (Angela) Rude, Jonathan (Joanna) Rude, Adopted daughter and grandchildren, Mary Keingatti, Jude, David, and Brianna.  He is also survived by many nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

Visits: 11


  1. Jackie McCord on August 3, 2022 at 9:29 am

    Dr. Parker will be missed. He was a super person and a gentleman. I enjoyed working with him very much.

  2. BOB DESKINS on August 6, 2022 at 3:38 pm

    Hey Gary, the things we did have given us a lifetime of memories. As teenage boy scouts canoeing in Canada, you insisted that I paddle to get closer to a Mama Bear with two cubs (while you filmed). Do you remember us going off road in your jeep and getting lost? We would not have gone through that cornfield if the farmer had not started shooting at us. I remember.
    Lastly, we even made it back from the band trip to the New York Worlds Fair. Before the trip you injected oranges with vodka and what plans we had! Too bad we mistakenly took a sack of potatoes instead of our vodka filled oranges, well at least your parents enjoyed them. Thanks Gary.

  3. Jan Burgess on August 7, 2022 at 3:21 pm

    Though I didn’t know Gary very well. The few times we met, he was always kind. I didn’t know about his service in South Korea! Wow! I know he was a man of honor!

  4. David Roach on July 21, 2023 at 11:26 am

    Just looking through my list of VISN 15 Union presidents and tried to call Gary. The # I had had no service so I looked him up on Google.
    I am sad finding out Gary had passed. What a good man and fellow Union President. Was with Gary every month for about 2 1/2 years. Gary stayed at my home in Marion, IL before we drove down to Atlanta to attend a conference.
    I sure wish I would have tried to see or talk to him a few years earlier. Rest in peace my friend.

  5. Peggy Gray on October 2, 2023 at 5:47 pm

    Dr. Parker was a good friend, strong as the earth itself in his convictions that all people should be treated with fairness and justice. He was a practical person who loved his family, friends, and “work”. He would never consider backing down from defending his charges from the warping forces of big power. I considered it an honor to work with and for him and was blessed to have called him and been called by him ” my friend”.

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