William H. Parker, III
Claim this Obituary
Amesbury - William H. Parker III, 82, formerly of Amesbury and West Newbury, died peacefully and surrounded by his loving family, on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2019.
Bill was born in Westbrook, Maine, to Ann (Delaney) and William H. Parker II. A graduate of The Manlius School (class of '55), he received his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering in 1960 from the University of Maine, which is where he met the love of his life, Joan (Currier), to whom he was married for 60 years. He later went on to earn an MS degree in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on environmental engineering from Northeastern University, a Masters of Engineering Management and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Detroit. He was a true believer in education and encouraged his children and grandchildren to pursue education as a lifelong endeavor. In fact, though talking became difficult in his last hours, one of his last utterances was a very clear "how's school?" to one of his college-aged grandchildren.
Bill worked as a civil engineer and spent many years with one of the largest environmental consulting firms in the U.S., Camp, Dresser & McKee, eventually serving as Senior Vice President and board member. His children have "fond" memories of touring wastewater treatment plants he designed when they were young. As Bill put it, "It might be sh*! to you, but it's my bread and butter." He also worked for EG&G and proudly served for two and a half years in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Environment under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Earlier, he served as 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Throughout his long and distinguished career, he was the recipient of many awards, including the University of Maine's "Eminent Engineer Award" in the Frances Crowe Society from the School of Engineering, the "Young Engineer of the Year" Award from the Massachusetts Society of Professional Engineers, and the National Defense Industrial Association's Environmental Achievement Award. He was also the author of over 80 technical papers and testified several times in front of the United States Congress.
The patriarch of a family that genuinely enjoys being together, Bill had a playful sense of humor and loved a good ribbing. He enjoyed being on the water and frequently began his day by expressing disbelief that he and Joan were fortunate enough to own a home overlooking the Merrimack River. A lifelong sports fan, he loved the Red Sox, Patriots, Bruins, and UMaine Black Bears Athletics and maintained that he could die a happy man when the Red Sox finally won the World Series in 2004. He was an avid politico and shared his views frequently through op-ed pieces and letters to the editor; he also oversaw several political campaigns as manager and was an organizer and fundraiser. He read voraciously--particularly spy novels, political history and biographies--and kept his mind sharp by doing crossword puzzles and Sudoku. Other special interests included a love of world travel, Western movies, Civil War history and genealogy. Some of his favorite memories were from their home on Kauai and an African photo safari taken with dear friends.
Bill overcame myriad health issues throughout his life and in his later years lived with chronic pain, inspiring his family with his strength and tenacity. His generosity was legendary, both within his family and with a host of organizations and causes he held dear, such as the University of Maine, The American Heart Association, and The Wounded Warrior Project.
Merely human, he was notoriously bad at opening cereal boxes, singing, managing technology, and properly wearing a hat.
Bill, known as Poompa to younger generations, is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Joan; his children Laurie Parker Mendoza of Salem, Michael Parker and wife Petra of Merrimac, Suzan Parker Henninges and husband John of Brunswick, Maine and Julie Parker Amery and husband Stephen of Amesbury; grandchildren Matthew Mendoza and wife Samantha Rothkopf, Emma Mendoza, Amalia Mendoza and husband Bob Collom; Isabel Mendoza, Corey Parker and wife Sarah, Carissa Parker, Liam Amery and Lily Amery; great-grandchildren Logan, Erica, Jessica, Christian, Michael, and Oliver; cousin Nancy George and honorary cousin Mary Larnard, sisters-in-law Patricia Shank, Joan Kieran and husband Robert, Patricia MacDonald and Carol Mycko, several nieces and nephews and countless friends.
Calling hours will be from 3 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, November 19th at Paul C. Rogers Family Funeral Home, 2 Hillside Avenue, Amesbury, MA and a memorial service/celebration of his life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: The William H. Parker, III and Joan Currier Parker Scholarship Fund, University of Maine Foundation, Two Alumni Place, Orono, Maine 04469; The American Heart Association; or The Wounded Warrior Project.
Published on November 15, 2019


Plant a tree in memory
of William
Plant a tree

Obituary published in


Print Guestbook

A place to share condolences and memories.
The guestbook expires on February 12, 2020.

Showing 10 of 17 posts

Linda Mason
Dec 01, 2019
I’m very sorry for your loss, Laurie. It sounds like he was a wonderful Dad. With sympathy and care, Linda
Sharon McAfee
Nov 25, 2019
Bill was one of my favorite clients! I always enjoyed our visits when he would come to the office to talk taxes!
christopher poole
Nov 19, 2019
America the Beautiful was purchased for the family of William H. Parker, III by christopher poole.  Send flowers
Ed Deardon
Nov 18, 2019
I had the privilege to work for/with Bill for over 40 years at CDM. I believe I had a special relationship with him because of the many projects (mainly wastewater treatment plants) we worked on together and the outside the office friendship we maintained right up to his passing. I always credited Bill for providing the aspiration to go back to NU evenings and earn my Civil Engineering BS and obtain my PE license. It changed my life. I will miss Bill.
Nov 18, 2019
Rose Remembrance was purchased for the family of William H. Parker, III.  Send flowers
Nov 18, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss.
With deepest Sympathy.
Diane Chupa
Joe Musto
Nov 18, 2019
So sorry to hear of your dad's passing. He sounds like an amazing and accomplished man.
Allen Neale
Nov 17, 2019
Vivid Recollections was purchased for the family of William H. Parker, III by Allen Neale.  Send flowers
Elaine Holt Troy and Jim Troy
Nov 17, 2019
As members of your lake family we know how much Bill will be missed. Our hearts are saddened. I remember seeing Bill and Joan dancing at her college graduation., many years ago. That was a special day and is a fond memory.
Ken and Kathy Turner
Nov 16, 2019
We are saddened by Bill’s passing. He was always a pleasure to be with!!
Kitty and Ted Gushee
Nov 16, 2019
The Merriweather gang will never be the same. A true friend who will be sorely missed.Kitty and Ted