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Remembering alumnus Foxhall Parker ’43

One of St. George’s most faithful and devoted Dragons, long-serving trustee Foxhall A. Parker ’43, died on Dec. 28, 2019. He was 94.

Mr. Parker, known to many as Foxy, was one of the school’s leading benefactors and a stalwart supporter of all things St. George’s.

He joined the St. George’s Board of Trustees in 1989, and during his faithful 21 years of service, was board secretary and treasurer, as well as a member of the Building & Grounds, Development, Investment, and Executive committees. He was elected an honorary trustee in 2010.

Betsy Michel P’85, ’89, who was chair of the Board of Trustees from 1989-1999, recalls Foxy as one who “never needed to dominate the conversation.”

“But when he had something to say he did so and we not only appreciated, we paid attention to his insights,” she said. “He got to the point — and made his.”

Beginning in the late 1970s, Mr. Parker also served as a class agent, enthusiastically rallying his classmates to contribute annually to the St. George’s Fund, as he himself did. Indeed, Mr. Parker was one of our school’s most devoted supporters – and it seemed no project or need escaped his interest and participation. He would just as readily contribute to restoring the chandeliers in the chapel as he would to the construction of the new 70-foot Geronimo in 1997. For his exceptional generosity over the years, he became a member of the Diman Society, whose members provide extraordinary resources to advance the school’s mission and vision. He was also a member the Ogden Nash Society, for having made provisions for St. George’s in his estate plans.

“Foxy was a great Dragon and never turned down a request to support SG in any way that he could,” said Francis “Skip” Branin ’65, P’06, who was chair of the Board of Trustees from 2004-2015. “He was a true gentleman in every possible meaning of that word — quiet yet purposeful, always with a kind smile for everyone around him.”

The school was fortunate to have recently honored Mr. Parker publicly for his contributions to the school by presenting him with the 2019 Howard B. Dean Service Award just this past May.

After St. George’s, Mr. Parker graduated from Dartmouth College and the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. He served on active duty in the Navy during World War II, from 1943-1946, and later in the Naval Reserve.

For much of his career, Mr. Parker worked as a mechanical engineer and consultant at the Bard Parker Co., a medical instruments manufacturer cofounded by his father Morgan, St. George’s Class of 1913, who at age 22 invented the first disposable medical scalpel. The company later became a division of Becton Dickinson and Co. of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, and was sold to Aspen Surgical Products Inc. in 2010.

Mr. Parker and his wife Helen always held St. George’s close to their hearts and were attendees of countless SG events over the decades. The couple had two daughters, Mary Parker Davidson of Eagle-Vail, Colorado, a member of the St. George’s Class of 1980; and Patricia Parker Mueller, of Vail, Colorado. Helen’s brother, Ernest M. Walker Jr., was also a St. George’s graduate, a member of the Class of 1955. And Mr. Parker’s cousin, John McLeran, was a member of the SG Class of 1960.

Since 1999, the Parker Family Courtyard has graced the entrance to the Drury/Grosvenor Center for the Arts, celebrating what St. George’s has meant to the Parker Family — and providing an enduring reminder of what they have meant to the school.

Mrs. Michel said she still has great memories of a fundraising trip she and Foxy took to Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. “Great memories because we had lots of driving time – ‘getting-to-know-each-other-better time,’ she said. “He was a gentle, kind man, with an endearing shyness, a keen mind — and a sharp wit.”  

A full obituary for Mr. Parker may be found here.