- On September 25, 2023
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On September 12, 2023, peacefully, at his Robinson Twp. home, surrounded by loving family members, Bob was carried in the everlasting arms of his dear Savior from the Church Militant to the Church Triumphant. He was preceded in death by his parents, Michael and Margaret Parker and his beloved wife Noreen Mary (Wendt) Parker. He is survived by his loving and devoted children Laurie, Brian (Vicki), David (Leslie), and Matthew; grandchildren, Mallory Freshwater (Devon), Jordan, Dana, Michael, Robert and Jackson; one great-grandchild, Eleanor Jean, and his cherished sister Beverly (Parker) Suehr. Bob leaves behind nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, as well as many cousins. Both Bob and Noreen also counted members of the Al and Audrey Irwin and Jim and Jean Gillie families as family. He was the absolute shepherd of his family, and already greatly missed by all. Bob was truly a living example of Christian faith, obedience, and love in action for Jesus.
Bob was born Robert Franklin Poiarkoff on January 6, 1938, to Michael and Margaret Poiarkoff. His family last name was changed to Parker while he was in elementary school. Bob and Noreen were 1955 graduates of Crafton High School band married in 1956. She was the joy of his life, and he loved her with true devotion and cared for her until her death in January of 2022.
Noreen and Bob had dear childhood friends that married each other – Audrey and Al Irwin. Their reunion as adult couples at Ingram First Presbyterian Church (where Bob served with Rev. Karl Bowman) coincided with meeting another young couple – Jean and Jim Gillie. The six of them became fast friends and together their families, known affectionately as the PIGS (Parkers, Irwins, and Gillies) are as close as blood family to this day.
Like many young men at the time, Bob worked in the steel industry after graduation. He was a salesman at RG Crouch Welding Supply, a marketing coordinator for Kutz Engineering, and the General Manager of Pittsburgh Welding and Forge until a career change in 1997 to become a registered nurse. He eventually worked as Community Care nurse for Mercy Behavioral Health serving in the streets of Pittsburgh until his retirement.
During his life he was a volunteer fireman and Chaplain in Crafton (1956-62), a Gideon, and volunteered his time with sports coaching, scout and Y Indian Guides troops, the Robinson AARP, and his high school reunion group. He was a member of The American Welding Society and served a year as the Pittsburgh Section Chairman.
Bob and Noreen were founding members of Providence Presbyterian Church (1975) and both were active members until their passing. He served there as a Sunday School teacher for high school students, as the Property and then the building chairman as well as an elder for many years. He served as the chairman of the Health Ministries there as well. Bob was also instrumental in the founding of the Robinson Township Christian School and supported the school as a Board Chairman, even teaching there for a short time. Throughout the church’s history, he prayed for the ministry and addressed the needs of the congregation wherever possible. He was thankful to be a devoted follower of his Savior and asked that any praise be directed to God. He was “just hands and feet’, living for Jesus, serving as called by the Holy Spirit in every aspect of his life.
Visitation will be Friday, October 6, 2023, at Pittsburgh Cremation & Funeral Care, 5405 Steubenville Pike, Robinson Twp., PA 15136, from 3-8 PM. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 7 at 11 AM at Providence Presbyterian Church, 77 Phillips Lane, Robinson Twp, PA 15136. The service will be live-streamed. In lieu of flowers, you may donate to Robinson Twp. Christian School or to the GJD Regional Day School (autism spectrum disorder) in NJ.