Burnis S. Parker Sr., 59, elementary school teacher

May 25, 2006

Burnis Sylvester "Burnie" Parker Sr., a retired elementary school teacher, died of complications from pulmonary fibrosis May 17 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Glen Burnie resident was 59.

Born in the Freetown neighborhood near Glen Burnie, he attended a segregated two-room school there.

Mr. Parker was a 1964 graduate of Wiley H. Bates High School in Annapolis and earned his bachelor's degree at what is now Bowie State University.

Mr. Parker started his teaching career at Baltimore's Curtis Bay Elementary. He joined the Anne Arundel County school system in the early 1970s and retired in 2000 from Freetown Elementary School, in the community where he was raised.

Mr. Parker was a volunteer and led current events discussions at Mariner Health of North Arundel.

"He constantly challenged people to think and seek greater understanding of themselves and the world around them," said his daughter, Vernita Parker-Wilkins of Beltsville.

He was a member of Hall United Methodist Church, where he was a trustee.

Services were held Saturday.

Survivors also include his wife of 33 years, the former Johnnettia Wall; two sons, Jerome Parker and Burnis Parker Jr., both of Glen Burnie; six brothers, Ernest Parker Jr., Leon Parker, Joseph S. Parker Sr. and Terry Lee Parker, all of Glen Burnie, and Howard E. Parker and William A. Parker, both of Baltimore; five sisters, Ruth Parker Gant of Hopewell, Va., and Perlean Parker, Annie Parker Davis, Louise Parker Taybron and Clarice Parker Hall, all of Glen Burnie; and a granddaughter.

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