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10.10.2012

Omaha Beach Veteran Joseph Lee Parker Jr. ‘38 Passes Away - Leaves Legacy of Serving Patients

I am saddened to hear the news of the passing of Dr. Joseph Lee Parker, Jr. He was a proud member of The University of Georgia family and the last surviving Navy doctor who landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy during the D-Day invasion of World War II. His heroism continued after the War when he established his own practice in rural Greensboro, Georgia, serving patients 24 hours a day and later as the chief of staff of the Minnie G. Boswell Hospital. Dr. Parker will be dearly missed, but the legacy of his work serving others lives on. Our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Parker’s family during this time.

Below you will find Dr. Parker’s obituary as provided by the McCommons Funeral Home.

Dr. Parker of Greensboro, Georgia died on Thursday, September 27, 2012 at the age of 95 at St. Mary’s Good Samaritan Hospital. He was born November 20, 1916 in Waycross, Georgia, the son of the late Joseph Lee Parker, Sr. and Vera Estelle Sweat. He was an Eagle Scout and a graduate of Waycross High School and The University of Georgia. While at The University of Georgia, he was a member of the Sigma Nu fraternity and lettered in swimming. He graduated from the Medical College of Georgia and married the late Martha Fleming of Augusta.

Dr. Parker served as a physician during World War II with the Navy and Marines. He was stationed in England and was part of the first wave of the Normandy Invasion during the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach with the 6th Naval Beach Battalion. He was the last surviving Navy surgeon of that invasion. He attended the wounded—both Allied and German—for twenty-one days on the beach. He received numerous awards and decorations from both the United States government and the Republic of France. Later, he served with the Marines in China and Guam.

After his military service, he established a medical practice in Greensboro, Georgia where he provided professional health care to the people of Greene and surrounding counties. In a rural practice with no hospital, 24-hour, 7-day a week house calls were an everyday event for Dr. Parker. He knew every country dirt road like the back of his hand. He was one of the founding physicians of the Minnie G. Boswell Hospital in 1949. He served as chief of staff for the hospital for twenty-five years until his retirement. Beloved and esteemed by all who had the privilege of knowing him, he was a hero to his community.

Dr. Parker married Carolyn Baugh Reynolds in 1987, and after his retirement they traveled all over the world. He also enjoyed spending time at his house on the Georgia coast as he loved being near the water. He built his first sailboat in St. Simons at the age of 14. He spent the last twenty-five years of his life on Lake Oconee.

Lee was a member of the Greensboro First Baptist Church and attended the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. He was a 60-year member of the Masons, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and American Legion.

In addition to his wife, Carolyn Reynolds Parker, he is survived by a daughter, Jane Parker '43 and a son, Joseph Lee Parker III, grandchildren, Mandy Parker and Robert Snider; Rynee and Michael Strickland; Allison and Dusty Laux; and Joely and Matt Nicholson, Great-grandchildren Hayden and Conner Strickland; Jonah and Sam Laux; and Parker and Tessa Nicholson. He was preceded in death by his brother Jack Parker and Anna Parker, and his sister Vera Parker and Cleve Mincey and a grandson Lee Whichard.

Extended family members are Frances and Gentry Strickland, Jamie and Kathy Reynolds, Marguerite and the late Troy McInteer, Harold and Lesley Reynolds, Beth and Bobby Thomas, Jim and Ellen Strickland, Bill and Tabi Strickland, Jamie Reynolds IV, Chandler Reynolds, Jackson Reynolds, Will and Jack Thomas, Carolyn, Mary Cate, Davis and Amanda Strickland, and Ella and Hal Strickland.

Funeral services were held Sunday, September 30, 2012 at 3:00 p.m. at the McCommons Funeral Chapel with Dr. David Key and The Reverend Joseph D. Greene III officiating. Interment with military honors followed in the Greenview Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were Johnny Hester, Mike Bradley, Billy Jarrard, Herbie Thurmond, Chris Houston, Dr. Dave Ringer, Carey Williams, Jr. and Richard Maddux.

The family requests that any memorials be made to the Active Duty Rehabilitation Unit of Augusta VA, c/o Reynolds Veterans Association, Inc., 6350 Lake Oconee Parkway, Suite 102, PMB 163, Greensboro, GA 30642. McCommons Funeral Home, 109 W. Broad St., Greensboro, GA, (706) 453-2626, is in charge of arrangements.

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01.25.2015

UGA to celebrate 230th anniversary on January 27

Each year, the UGA Alumni Association proudly celebrates the signing of the University of Georgia Charter that took place on January 27, 1785. In recognition of the university's 230th anniversary as the nation's first state-chartered institution of higher education, the UGA Alumni Association and the UGA Emeriti Scholars present the annual Founders Day Lecture. The lecture is held in the UGA Chapel and has become a Founders Day tradition, drawing alumni, students, faculty, esteemed guests and members of the community. This year's lecture will be held on Monday, January 26 at 1:30 p.m. The lecture is free and open to the public.

The 2015 Founders Day Lecture will be presented by UGA School of Law J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law and Associate Dean Emeritus Paul M. Kurtz, and will be titled, A New York Yankee in Abraham Baldwin's Court: (Almost) Fifty Years Behind 'Enemy' Lines. 

Paul M. Kurtz

Student Bar Association President Carey Miller (AB '12, JD '16) will provide the student response.

Carey Miller (AB '12, JD '16)

Can't attend the lecture? It will be livestreamed, so you can join in the celebration from your home or office. 

And don't forget to wish UGA a happy birthday on social media using #UGATurns230. 

The UGA Student Alumni Association will sponsor a series of free events in advance of and following the lecture. For more information about these events, please email Assistant Director of Student Programs Evan Tighe (BSED '08, MA '11) at eptighe@uge.edu.

 

  • Monday, January 26: Founders Day Lecture at 1:30 p.m. in The Chapel
  • Tuesday, January 27: Founders Week T-shirt Giveaway and Birthday Party in Tate Plaza; Men's Basketball Game vs. Vanderbilt at 7:00 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum
  • Wednesday, January 28: Career Fair from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. at The Classic Center
  • Thursday, January 29: 100 Days Until Graduation Celebration; birthday cupcakes in the dining halls
  • Friday, January 30: 100 Days Until Graduation Celebration and Dawgs After Dark
  • All week: Greek Life Banner Contest
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01.23.2015

UGA alumnus participates in Alaska tradition

A native of Washington, D.C., Philip Walters (BMUS '04) moved to Alaska immediately after graduating from UGA. A middle school band teacher by day, Walters is training to run the 2015 Iditarod dog race.

Communications intern Bernadette Green '15 had the opportunity to chat with Philip about his upcoming trek.

Going from Georgia to Alaska is a huge change! What motivated you to move to Alaska?

I visited Alaska in 2002 while on vacation. My family has always been very outdoorsy ─ I was camping and hiking at a very young age ─ and Alaska is pretty much an outdoor playground, so I immediately fell in love with the state and tried to find ways to get back there. In 2004, I worked at a string music camp in Birchwood (just north of Anchorage) and met some local music teachers who encouraged me to move up to Alaska after I graduated that fall. 

Could you give us some background on the Iditarod? What inspired you to run it?

The Iditarod was started in 1973 as a way to bring sled dogs back into the public spotlight. The race is 1,049 miles and runs from Anchorage to Nome, crossing three mountain ranges and running over frozen sea ice near the finish. It follows the Iditarod mail route, which was the only way to move mail and freight from one place to another before the railroad and the road system came to Alaska. In fact, sled dogs are still used as a main form of transportation in some rural Alaskan villages. The Iditarod begins the first weekend in March every year.  

After visiting Alaska for the first time, I read everything I could get my hands on about Alaska, and much of what I read was about sled dogs and dog mushing. I began dreaming of running the Iditarod after reading a book called "Winterdance" by Gary Paulsen. It is still one of my favorite books about the sport, even if it is a bit romanticized in regard to what actually takes place during a race.

I started volunteering with the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in 2006. I've been a volunteer every year since, in some form or fashion, including working at several remote checkpoints. I love watching the teams come through on the race, and can't wait to be on the other side of the race.

How did you get into running sled dogs?

I met a local musher in 2007 who put me in touch with Kurt and Val Jokela, local mushers who looking for a "handler", somebody who can help them with dog chores in exchange for learning the tricks of the trade. They taught me how to mush, let me run their dogs, use their equipment and even helped me train for my first distance race. Once their dogs started getting older, they put me in touch with Alan Peck and Barbara Trost, who allowed me to train their dogs and begin working toward my Iditarod qualifiers.

I now run dogs for Snowhook Kennel, which is owned and operated by Justin and Rebecca Savidis. I'll run the Snowhook Kennel "B-Team" (think about it as the junior varsity team) in the 2015 Iditarod.  

How do you train for such a feat?

Basically, we get the dogs out running pretty early in the fall. In fact, we started in July this year. When there isn't snow on the ground, we hook them up to a gangline that is attached to an ATV and have them pull it while it’s in gear. It's basically weight-lifting for the dogs. We use that to slowly and safely build up muscle and get them back in shape after taking the summer off.  

Once there's enough snow on the ground, we will start running the team on sleds. We try to put the dogs and ourselves in a variety of situations so they are ready for any sort of terrain or issue that might come up on the trail. In a 1,000-mile race, you'll run into every type of weather and terrain imaginable; for example, last year much of the race was run without snow!

I'm basically running dogs four to five days a week, in addition to my full-time day job as a middle school band teacher in Anchorage. I come home from school, change clothes, drive an hour out to where the dogs are located, run the dogs, come home, go to sleep, wake up and do it all over again the next day. It's a crazy schedule, but I love working with the dogs and I'm Iditarod-bound, so I'm willing to do what it takes to make this dream possible.  

 What is your favorite memory from your time at UGA? 

Most of my memories revolve around the Redcoat Band.  I was a 4-year marching member of the band, and most of my friends were in the Redcoats with me. I guess many of my fondest memories were also football-related because I was at almost every game. I was there for the "hobnail boot" in Tennessee, and Michael Johnson's miraculous touchdown catch at Auburn. I was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, and many KKPsi brothers are still some of my best friends, so there are fantastic memories there. As a member of the Wind Symphony, I was honored to record two different professional albums of amazing band music under some of the best conductors I've ever had the pleasure to work with.  

  

Do you keep up with UGA football or other university-related happenings?

Of course I keep up with UGA football! I have a big Georgia banner in my band room, and I've worn holes in my UGA sweatshirts. Most of my mushing gear is red and black, I painted my dog box, the box on my pickup truck that I use to haul the dogs around to races, red and black. Once a Dawg, always a Dawg ─ how sweet it is!

Good luck, Philip! The UGA Alumni Association looks forward to keeping up with your progress during the race. If you would like to follow Philip’s Iditarod journey, check out his website or Facebook page.

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01.21.2015

Flavor of Georgia celebrates tradition of artisan and craft foods

From cheeses to chutneys, craft chocolate to chorizo, the 2015 Flavor of Georgia Food Product Contest—sponsored by the University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development—will celebrate Georgians' creativity and craftsmanship by finding the best products in the state.

"Flavor of Georgia is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to gain publicity and exposure for their products," said Sharon P. Kane, a UGA food business development specialist and the contest's coordinator. "It's also a chance for them to network with other food entrepreneurs and industry experts."

Nearly 90 percent of the finalists in the 2014 Flavor of Georgia Contest reported seeing increased interest in their products following the contest, and many others benefitted from increased sales, profits, publicity and website traffic, she said. Some also indicated an increase in full- and part-time employees.

More than 50 percent saw an increase in new contracts within one month of the contest.

A follow-up survey of past finalists, from the 2007 through 2012 contests, found that they attributed about 11 percent of their business revenue to their participation in Flavor of Georgia.

Finalists and winners will be eligible to participate in a number of high-profile industry showcases throughout 2015, including the Georgia Grown Symposium, the Georgia National Fair and showcase days at the Buford Highway Farmers Market. They also will receive industry feedback and use of the Flavor of Georgia finalist logo for their product's packaging.

Winners will be featured in the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Georgia Grown magazine, a statewide publicity push, a booth at the Georgia Food Industry Association conference, a spot at the Sherwood Food Distributors annual food show and use of Flavor of Georgia winner logo for their packaging.

  

Contest finalists will be invited to participate in the final round of judging and a public tasting March 9-10 as part of the Governor's Agricultural Awareness Day in Atlanta.

Food marketing experts, grocery buyers, chefs and Georgia agricultural experts will judge each product based on flavor, Georgia theme, unique or innovative qualities and commercial appeal.

Registration runs through Jan. 30 and includes commercially available products or market-ready prototypes. Product categories include barbecue sauces; beverages; confections; dairy products; jams and jellies; marinades and sauces; meat and seafood; salsas, chutneys and condiments; snack foods; and miscellaneous products. There is no limit to the number of products an individual can submit.

Register and learn more.

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