William Lee Parker (March 7, 1945-September 1, 2019) passed away in his home in Hermosa Beach, CA surrounded by many family members and loved ones. Lee was born in Meridian, MS to Deaf parents and was raised in Gardena, CA where he graduated from Serra High School (1963). He married his life-long love Christine Sisson in 1966 and raised 4 children and 12 grandchildren with her for the next 53 years.
A big proponent of higher education, Lee was the first person in his family to graduate college at Long Beach State University (1967), and he continued on and earned his PhD in Audiology from the University of Florida (1973). He served as the Director of Audiology at the San Francisco Speech and Hearing Center for two years, then opened the eponymous Parker Hearing Institute audiology practice in Torrance, CA to which he dedicated the next 45 years of his career helping those of us with hearing loss. In 1978, he met his best friend Phil Burney and they both decided to establish the Palm Springs Hearing Seminars, an annual continuing educational seminar that continues to this day.
Lee and Chris traveled the world together (often with their grandchildren), and loved RV-ing with Los Compadres Riding Club of Palm Springs and touring the US. Of particular note, Lee loved camping at Rincon, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and rode in the Orpheus Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans for his 55th birthday. Lee was a generous man who inconspicuously donated to many charities and opened his home up to family and friends alike. He was happiest when surrounded by friends and family eating, drinking, laughing, and otherwise enjoying all of the great things life has to offer. He served as a paternal mentor to countless friends of the family, where he taught us how to work hard, provide for our families, live every day as if it were your last, and not take life too seriously.
A devoted Catholic, Lee was welcomed into Heaven by his parents Richard and Kathy Parker, his brother Earl J Parker of Gardena, CA, and in laws David M and Mary Sisson of Hermosa Beach, CA. He is survived by his wife, daughter, three sons, 12 grandchildren, 100+ Sisson family members, and many many many more friends. Services will be held at American Martyrs Church in Manhattan Beach, CA at 2:00 on Friday September 6, 2019. Hawaiian shirts required (cowboy hats optional). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the the Huntington's Disease Society of America (https://hdsa.org/), the Los Angeles Catholic Worker (http://www.lacatholicworker.org/), the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundations (https://themmrf.org/get-involved/donate-to-the-mmrf/), and/or the Holy Angels Catholic Church of the Deaf (https://www.hacofthedeaf.org/about.html).
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Beach Reporter on Sep. 4, 2019.