James Landrum “Lanny” Parker
- January 22, 2023
James Landrum “Lanny” Parker
On Jan. 17, 2023, James Landrum “Lanny” Parker left us to join his deceased parents H.E. “Skin” and Pollyanna Porter-Parker; his son, Perrin Landrum Parker; and his daughter, Dawn Michelle Parker; leaving behind his adoring wife, Karen Koontz Parker, the love of his life.
Lanny was born in Union, S.C. on Sept. 4, 1938. He graduated from Union High School, where he was in the National Honor Society and a quarterback on the winning football team. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he returned to Union to be trained as the eventual manager of the family retail-furniture business – Parker’s Furniture Co. His brother P.K. “Skip” Parker partnered with him a few years later. The two of them spent their careers working together expanding the family business in South Carolina to include stores in Union, Greenwood, Laurens, Clinton, Gaffney and Newberry.
Lanny was a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Rotary Club, Lion’s Club, Elk’s Club and Kiwanis Club. He was also a member of The Little Theater in Union, where his favorite role to perform was Elwood P. Dowd in “Harvey.”
In 1994, when Lanny married Karen, he established his permanent residence in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Karen’s hometown, and he became a regular commuter between Iowa and South Carolina, until his retirement from Parker’s Furniture in 2003. Lanny and Karen traveled the world together for many years. Learning the history of countries, they visited and meeting residents were particularly enjoyable for Lanny. When they weren’t traveling, you could find Lanny on the tennis court, in session with his personal trainer or on the golf course with Karen.
Lanny dealt with cancer as he did with everything in life, head-on, analytically, with a plan and a delightful sense of humor. As a way of coping with his debilitating disease, he began making bird houses and bird feeders. In one year, he made and gave away more than 200, which affectionately earned him the name “Bird Man.”
Although Lanny frequently said he was from planet HaHa, he has left a lot of family and friends back here on planet Earth who will sorely miss him, including his wife, Karen; his sons, Myles Gordon “Duke” Parker (Lori) and Eric Landrum Parker; brother, P.K. “Skip” Parker (Wanda); sister, Rosemary Parker Keller; granddaughters, Kristin Parker, Michelle “Missy” Parker Seymore and Ashley Parker Brimm; grandson, Grant Landrum Parker; great-granddaughter, Olivia Grace Seymore; niece, Teri Parker Lewis; nephews, Alex and David Parker; special friends who made his cancer journey easier; and devoted furry-friend Duchess.
At age five Lanny was instructed by his dad to take care of the family, as his dad was leaving for WWII. He took the instruction seriously and spent his life taking care of the family. As he approached his journey to the stars, he passed the baton to his oldest son Duke with the same instruction.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in the Chapel of Memories at Cedar Memorial, 4200 First Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers memorials be directed to Connie Maxwell Children’s Ministries, P.O. Box 1178, Greenwood, SC 29648-1178 (www.conniemaxwell.com).
Online condolences may be left at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.