- J. Ed Parker
- Hometown (Last School)
- Lexington, KY (Henry Clay)
- 1943-44, 1944-45, 1945-46, 1946-47
- May 27, 1924
Obituary – ‘BUDDY’ PARKER, EX-UK PLAYER, BUSINESSMAN, DIES , Lexington Herald-Leader (December 29, 1999) by Jennifer Hewlett
James Edward “Buddy” Parker III, a Lexington real estate businessman and former University of Kentucky basketball player, died Monday at Mayfair Manor Nursing & Convalescent Center. Mr. Parker, who lived at 328 Holiday Road, was 75. He had had a massive heart attack three months ago.
He was the chief executive officer of Buddy Parker Real Estate Co., a business he started in 1956. Mr. Parker was president of the Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors in 1966 and 1976, and was president of the Kentucky Association of Realtors in 1969. The local association named him Realtor of the Year in 1968. Active in community organizations, he was a former Junior Achievement director and was currently a Chrysalis House advisory board member. He also was a past president of the Lexington chapter of the University of Kentucky Alumni Association.
As a young man he was perhaps best known for playing basketball for UK. Mr. Parker, who played guard, lettered in 1945, 1946 and 1947. Legendary UK coach Adolph Rupp referred to him as “my little stick of dynamite.”
“He played on the first team when I first came to the university, and he came through and made some real good plays,” said former UK basketball great Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones.
“He was very good for the team, and he also did a lot of scouting for Coach Rupp when he graduated.”
Mr. Parker was a member of the team that won the 1946 National Invitation Tournament. UK defeated Rhode Island 46-45 in the final game. It was UK’s first national championship, and Mr. Parker was awarded the championship game ball for his contributions to the game.
“He came in late in the ballgame and he helped quite a bit in the game in New York . . . He came off the bench and did real good,” Jones said.
“Rupp was very fond of him and he asked him to do some scouting and go see some other teams play and bring back some reports … I was very fond of Buddy, and he was a great booster of UK.”
In 1986, Mr. Parker and three fishing buddies had a close brush with death when Mr. Parker’s fishing boat sank in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. They survived nearly 24 hours in the water by clinging to two coolers they tied together with their belts and shoe strings before being rescued by a charter boat.
Mr. Parker was a Mason County native who grew up in Lexington. He was a graduate of Lexington’s Henry Clay High School, where he played basketball and football and ran track. He received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from UK, where he was a member of the Lamp and Cross senior honorary society and Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He served in the Navy before attending the university.
He worked for Standard Oil of Kentucky early in his career.
His memberships included the K-Men’s Association and Central Christian Church.
Mr. Parker is survived by his wife, Louise Watkins Parker; a stepdaughter, Martha Morris Biede of Highland Park, Ill.; two stepsons, Harry V. McChesney IV of Nicholasville and Barrett Morris Jr. of Roanoke, Va.; and eight stepgrandchildren.
Services will be at 1:30 p.m. Thursday at Central Christian Church. Visitation will be from 1 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. today at Central Christian Church Chapel. Contributions are suggested to the Gill Heart Institute, in care of the UK Kentucky Clinic, or the Chrysalis House. W.R. Milward Mortuary — Broadway is in charge of arrangements.